Predatory Lending - Written by Beasley Allen on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 9:28 - 0 Comments
I have been asked by lots of folks to explain exactly what is meant by the term “predatory lending.” I suspect some of our readers may be asking the same question. Simply put, predatory lending is a term used to describe unfair and abusive loan terms placed on borrowers. Unfair or abusive loan terms or conditions are sometimes achieved through aggressive sales tactics. On all too many occasions, banks and other lenders take advantage of a borrower’s lack of understanding of very complicated terms. Also, loans or unfair loan terms are sometimes imposed on a borrower through deception, misrepresentation or fraud. Predatory loans can turn the dream of homeownership into a nightmare. Regrettably, many predatory loans result in default and foreclosure.
The impact on the victims of predatory lending usually leads to money or home loss. The injury inflicted on victims by predatory lenders is underscored by the fact that predatory lenders often target poor, minority and elderly individuals where better standard loans may not be as readily available to them. Unfortunately, predatory lending may result in default, foreclosure (foreclosure is a judicial process by which borrowers may lose their property), financial loss, and other serious economic and emotional injury to borrowers and their families. The following are 12 questions to ask that could be signs of possible predatory lending:
- Did any lender promise you one set of terms and give you another?
- Did any lender tell you to sign incomplete or blank forms?
- Did any lender falsify information on a loan application?
- Were you pressured into accepting monthly payments you cannot afford?
- Were you told it is not important to read the fine print?
- Were you told you cannot have documents you signed?
- Were you not told your interest rate may go up?
- Were you not told about fees?
- Were you solicited through mail, telephone or door to door?
- Were you promised loan approval regardless of credit?
- Were you rushed to sign papers before you were ready?
- Were you offered unwanted services such as life or health insurance?
If you have any questions about predatory lending or feel that you might have been a victim of predatory lending, you can contact Bill Robertson, a lawyer in our firm’s Consumer Fraud Section. Bill, who handles predatory lending claims, can be reached at 800-898-2034 or by email at Bill.Robertson@beasleyallen.com.
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