Industry News

Web service enables borrowers to shop mortgages anonymously

LoanAgentsLive offers IM chats with loan officers

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A new Web site promises consumers shopping around for the best deal on a mortgage the ability to initiate instant messaging "chats" with loan officers at more than 200 mortgage brokerages around the United States. LoanAgentsLive.com, which launched in April, says it's different than other Web-based services that help consumers choose a lender -- such as Bankrate, Lending Tree and LoanWeb -- because customers can remain anonymous. Many Internet users are reluctant to provide personal information or submit applications for loans online because they are afraid brokers will inundate them with sales calls, said LAL Enterprises LLC Vice President Patrick Bliesener. Other online mortgage services are essentially lead generation companies for mortgage brokers, he said. "When you fill out a form at (a leading online mortgage service), it sells that information to five brokers -- and not the companies you necessarily want them to sell it to," Bliesener said. If none of those brokers is able t...