VA Loan Reader Questions: VA IRRRL Scam?
A reader asks, “My husband relieved a letter saying that they were compelled to notify us that our mortgage with Crescent Mortgage which was bought by Wells Fargo, has been tagged for inclusion in the VA IRRRL program. Then it gives a mortgage and statement number which they claim is ours (and it’s not).”
“They also advise to call the department within the next 5 business days from receipt if the notice. I haven’t called yet because I’m very skeptical but we would love to lower our payment if this wasn’t a scam. If you could shed some light on this we would really appreciate it.”
Borrowers should always beware of VA IRRRL scams third party advertising from unknown sources claiming a limited time offer on something like a VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan or IRRRL. For starters, VA IRRRLs are always an option for qualified borrowers–there is no such thing as being “tagged for inclusion” on a VA IRRRL.
There is also no “limited time” for a borrower to apply for a VA IRRRL or VA Streamline Refinance loan. Any qualified borrower can apply for a VA IRRRL or VA Streamline Refinance. You may be required to make a minimum number of mortgage payments before applying, but that is the only time constraint on the availability of the IRRRL program in the context of a “limited time offer”.
Additionally, borrowers are free to shop around for a VA IRRRL among many lenders–you are not limited to your current lender or the company that has taken over your current VA home loan. The ability to work with a new lender on a refinance loan is a very important borrower right. Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking you cannot shop around for a loan elsewhere.
When it comes to responding to a third-party advertisement such as the one mentioned in the reader question, it’s crucial that borrowers do their homework on the company in question, avoid using special e-mail or phone numbers listed in the third party advertising, and avoid giving out personal information to people who have contacted YOU instead of the other way around. How can borrowers who want to refinance protect themselves?
Don’t call the number given in the advertising–instead, contact your lender directly using the main phone number advertised at the branch or in telephone directory. Explain the advertising you have received and see if such an offer really exists. You should also comparison shop among other financial institutions to see whether such terms are offered elsewhere or if more competitive offers are available.
Remember, a qualified borrower is free to refinance a VA mortgage with a VA IRRRL or Streamline Loan without having to wait for “inclusion”. If you need to refinance, you can get started today.
Do you have questions about VA refinance loans? Ask us in the comments section.