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linked from Cagey Consumer Highlights web search for Cagey Consumer Highlights

The writer is correct, the corporate name is Metropolitan Home Mortgage, Inc., and it conducts a portion of its business under the D.B.A. Wholesale Home Lenders. The company was incorporated in 1993 in California and has never been found by any regulatory agency or the BBB to be conducting any unlawful or misleading practices. The address referenced in the licensing inquiry is simply a branch of the company. The current corporate headquarters is 4 Park Plaza, Suite 800, Irvine, Ca 92614. The letter attached was not complete, but rather a partial letter of what the individual actually received. The STATEMENT ENCLOSED was a savings statement not a billing statement. While I am uncertain as to what message the writer was attempting to convey, it should be noted that no person or entity has ever made any charges of merit against the company.
Darryl Preedge web search for Darryl Preedge - 18 Apr 2004

The primary message I was attempting to convey was that Wholesale Home Lenders or Metropolitan Home Mortgage, whatever the name of the company is, is using techniques that people might not want to reward.

The first technique is to imply that the recipient of your mail already has a relationship with your company, and that they better not throw this envelope away. The use of a return address without the name of the company furthermore reinforces this impression. Only the most astute recipient will notice that it's sent "standard class" (formerly known as *bulk rate*) rather than first class mail.

It's obvious that you have no notion of what might constitute a deceptive practice, so your claims that there have never been any charges "of merit" shouldn't carry much weight with anybody.

So let's address each of your points:

Okay, here's how you should have responded, if you were going to be upfront and honest with the public:

We know that there are numerous other lenders trying to get you to refinance your mortgage. There's a fair amount of money to be made in this business, and we'd like to get our share of it.

These mailings aren't cheap. We pay really astonishing amounts of money just to get lists of people who are semi-decent prospects. On top of that, of course, we pay for the mailing and the postage. We're willing to do almost anything (at least, almost anything that won't cause us to lose our license) to get your attention. So if making the envelope that we send look more important to you than the envelope some other lender sends, you bet we're going to think about doing it.

In fact, this did work. We've done other mailings without these techniques and the response rate was substantially lower. This format worked, and that's why we continue to use it.

Now we know that every day, other lenders are advertising in the newspaper offering refinancing deals just as good as we have... some are probably a little better, some probably not as good. But in spite of that constant barrage of ads, there are still some people who haven't refinanced, people who could literally save tens of thousands of dollars by refinancing... who haven't. So consider that even if you don't like the format of our mailing, this format motivates some people to do something that will save them a significant amount of money.

My appeal to the public is this:

Just because Metropolitan Home Mortgage uses some questionable practices in their mailing, that doesn't mean that they cheat or deceive people who become their customers. The mortgage business is subject to significant regulation; there are so many disclosures, nobody reads them. This isn't to say that you don't need to look out for yourself when applying for a refinance... there are typically fees that pop up at the last minute and many other surprises. Many of the disclosure forms required in getting a mortgage are a result of past abusive practices.

That said, if you're looking to refinance, you're in the driver's seat. You have to decide if you appreciate receiving a deceptive mailing. If so, you should patronize the company that sent you the deceptive mailing. But if you'd rather companies not send you deceptive mailings, then open that newspaper, and you'll find plenty of other companies that want your business.

EliMantel web search for EliMantel - 20 Apr 2004

The envelope had a return address:
P. O. Box 53804
Irvine, CA 92619-3804

and there was a blue stripe stating "STATEMENT ENCLOSED", but I had never done business with Wholesale Home Lenders. The name of the company is actually

Metropolitan Home Mortgage, Inc.
9901 Paramount Blvd. Suite 250, Downey, CA 90240
phone: 562-806-6001

When I called the company, they insisted that Wholesale Home Lenders Inc., was the real corporate name, and that Metropolitan Home Mortgage was the parent company, but the California Secretary of State corporations search shows no registration for Wholesale Home Lenders.

There is a California Finance Lenders license, listed as follows:

6071751 - California Finance Lender

but this is neither the license number of address they provide.

Anyway, I've provided an HTML rendition of the letter I received:

Streamline Eligibility Notice
July 1, 2003
Loan Number: 1213237
Eli D. Mantel
4158 Middlefield Rd.
Palo Alto CA 94303-4719
Dear Eli and Martha,

According to our records you obtained a mortgage from [ original lender name ] in [ month ] of [year] on your home located at 4158 Middlefield Rd. At this time you may be eligible for our Streamline Refinance Program.

Wholesale Home Lenders has developed the Streamline Program so that homeowners such as you can take advantage of today's unprecedented low interest rates, without the traditional hassle of refinancing. By utilizng the Streamline program we can offer our clients loan approval in minutes with no forms to fill out, and you may not even need to have your home appraised.

After analyzing the mortgages of thousands of homeowners, we have developd the above savings example. We have found that many homeowners such as you have been able to save thousands of dollars in mortgage interest over the life of their loan by taking advantage of today's lower rates using the Streamline Refinance Program.

Best of all Wholesale Home Lenders is a DIRECT LENDER and that means NO BROKER FEES! Our current low fixed interest rate is:

Fixed 4.50%   4.805% APR   0% Origination Points

By taking advantage of rates this low, you too may be able to save thousands of dollars in mortgage interest over the life of your loan.

We are so confident that we have the lowest rates in the mortgage industry, that we offer two separate Guarantees. First our 5-YEAR Rate Protection Guarantee, if during the first five years of your new loan, the Rate Protection Guarantee dorps below your rate, we will refinance your loan and we will pay all of your closing costs.

Secondly, our 110% Low Fee Guarantee, if within 30 days after your loan closes, you provide us a full loan approval from another direct lender at the same rate and terms with lower fees than ours, we'll pay you 110% of the difference.

We have set up special toll-free number for you to Call Today and Lock in your low interest rate:

Please call our customer service department or log on today so that we may get the streamline process started, and answer any questions you may have.

This page is provided as a research tool to those who are considering doing business with this company. Linked pages and content incorporated from other sources are the opinion of the information provider and do not necessarily reflect the views of the owners and operators of Unless otherwise stated, we have no knowledge that this company is conducting a scam or fraudulent operation, or is otherwise guilty of any misleading or deceptive business practices.

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