Twenty-five percent of Americans indicate that full, accurate disclosure of all fees accompanying a mortgage offer is the most important attribute they would seek if they were to use a mortgage shopping Web site, according to a recent Harris Interactive survey of 2,214 U.S. adults aged 18 and up that was commissioned by MortgageMarvel.com. Another 20 percent would most value the ability to remain anonymous while receiving information about mortgage rates and fees.
The importance of having a clear understanding of all fees was recently driven home by Freeman v. Quicken Loans Inc., a fee-dispute case decided by the Supreme Court. While the court ruled in favor of the lender, it emphasizes the fact that consumers are learning the importance of clear, full disclosure of all fees and closing costs.
“It’s revealing that across the age spectrum, so many online users cite full disclosure of fees and privacy as their top priorities,” said Rick Allen, chief operating officer of Mortgage Marvel. “This is a confirmation of our commitment to fully disclose fees and closing costs, and to protect anonymity as consumers gather facts about mortgage rates and fees.”
U.S. adults were asked this question: “If you were to use an online mortgage shopping website (e.g., Mortgage Marvel, BankRate, LendingTree), which of the following, if any, would be most important to you?” They ranked the five choices they were given as follows:
►25 percent: Full, accurate disclosure of fees.
►20 percent: Access to rates without having to provide my personal information.
►16 percent: Ability to easily compare rates and fees to other companies.
►10 percent: Protection from unsolicited loan offers.
►7 percent: Accurate, real-time rate quotes.
Another three percent listed choices other than those given as options, and 19 percent said “nothing.”
Harris Interactive broke down the data by several categories, including geographic region, age, gender, education, income, household size, and employment status. Interesting findings include:
►Access to rate and fee information without having to provide personal information became increasingly important among higher age groups, higher income levels and higher education level.
►Men were more likely than women to value full, accurate disclosure of fees, while women were more likely than men to value gaining access to information without disclosing personal information.