Someone forwarded me an interesting email yesterday. The spammy message apparently being sent to various mortgage brokers claims that “We’ll pay you for the clients you can’t do loans for.” Here’s some of the email copy (emphasis theirs):
We coach people who are underwater in their homes.
We don’t do loans, we don’t sell real estate.
We teach our members how to deal with their underwater homes.
If you have to deny a loan for an underwater homeowner, we are the next logical step for them.
Once you deny them, you’re done. You can’t help them. If you can’t close it, you can’t make a commission on it. On top of that, you may never get them back again.
Now you can tell your client that the banks don’t have a solution for them but you do. You can refer them to the only company in the region that specializes in helping underwater homeowners.
Wow, does that ever sound fishy. The email goes on to promote a pair of upcoming events being hosted by this company. One of the events is being presented by “Howard Bono, Founder.”
Howard Bono… Where have I heard that name before… Oh yeah: Friday Flashback: "The Traditional Advice is Outdated"
Many dream of being millionaires, while others work hard toward that goal.
Howard Bono [owner of Old West Mortgage in Everett], on the other hand, wants to help others – 1,000 other people, to be exact – amass that kind of wealth.
When it comes to the long-term goal of retirement, Bono doesn’t offer the traditional advice, however. That’s because the traditional advice is outdated, he said.
…Bono suggests, in addition to preaching everyday financial fitness, that people use property as a tangible investment for retirement.
His rationale? Real estate values in the Puget Sound region grow, on average, by 7 percent a year. Which means if you buy a second property and hold onto it for a couple of decades, its value is bound to grow to three or four times what you paid. In the meantime, the second home can be rented out for additional income to cover its mortgage.
The key is to hold onto property long enough for it to dramatically rise in value.
So in 2007, when real estate was hot, Howard Bono was operating a mortgage company and telling anyone who would listen that buying real estate is the way to become a millionaire. Now that things have turned around, he’s running a “coaching group” whose website describes its mission as:
Our mission is to coach you through the process of strategically eliminating your burdensome mortgage(s), put cash in your pocket, minimize the damage to your credit and prepare you for the new financial arena.
In other words, if you listened to Howard Bono’s nonsense “non-traditional” advice in 2007 and got your finances into a giant mess, he’d love to give you some advice in 2011 about how you can get out of that mess. What a deal.
I also really love the bold disclaimer at the bottom of every page: “LEGAL INFORMATION IS NOT THE SAME AS LEGAL ADVICE.” Looks to me like these guys are basically trying to charge people money for basic
advice er, I mean information on how to walk away from their mortgage or file a deed in lieu (hey guys, someone beat you to that). Hard to say for sure since they’re really not clear anywhere on their site about what exactly they do.
Personally I think if you’re looking for a good financial coach, smarmy hucksters that shift to a new opportunistic business model every couple years might not be the best choice. But that’s just me.