Sets my sleaze-o-meter racing

I have a finely-tuned sleaze-o-meter that easily jumps past the redline.

One mortgage broker’s radio commercial sends my sleaze-o racing from word one. If you listen to WBBM-AM, you’re probably familiar with the opening line “Hi, I’m Jon Shibley, President of Lenox Financial Mortgage … ”

There’s something about the voice that sprung my meter into action even before I first heard the message: no closing cost mortgage refinancing. It grates particularly on WBBM, since I’m old enough to remember when the station, out of regard for its listeners and its own reputation, would refuse to run a pitch like this.

Shibley’s rant generally includes a few random slurs against his competitors: “We’re making plenty of money. We don’t need to stick it to you …” Tonight’s drive-time commercial backhanded real estate agents (and, some would say, taxi drivers by equating the two as a source of mortgage advice.)

Shibley’s closing (all quotes rendered from memory): “We’ve refinanced some guys five times. They’ve never paid a nickel in closing costs.” He’s asking suckers to believe that they don’t pay anything when they pay a higher interest rate, and bootstrapping on the name of a respected China line to gild the gull.

The Atlanta (Lenox’s headquarters) Better Business Bureau has a file on this group, and gives them an “unsatisfactory” rating for failing to respond to consumer complaints.

Legal disclaimer: nothing in this post suggests that Lenox is engaged in any form of “redlining” other than with regard to my sleaze-o-meter.

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