The mortgage market is in turmoil, thanks to the subprime fiasco. Millions of homeowners face foreclosure, mortgage lenders are losing billions, new loans are impossible to get — hey, wait a minute.
If mortgage loans are so hard to get, why are Countrywide, Ditech and other big lenders still running TV ads every 5 minutes? Even the National Association of Realtors is running ads, saying there’s never been a better time to buy a house. (Better for their members, maybe.)
Despite all the foreclosures, lawsuits and investigations, the mortgage industry is still spending money on ads like a drunken sailor. A big chunk of the buy has shifted to the Internet, but the total spend is staggering.
In fact, they’re spending more now than they did during the height of the housing boom, according to today’s New York Times.
Naturally, what’s good for the advertiser is not necessarily good for the customer. “There may be some good, legitimate offers,” a spokesman for the Federal Trade Commission told the Times. “But it’s a good time for consumers to be especially wary.” Gail Cunningham of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, adds, “Consumers need to read between the lines of everything (the advertisers) are saying.”