On Sunday, February 7, 49% of Americans with a television in their home tuned in to watch the pro football championship. While many were excited to see which team would hold the championship title (spoiler alert: the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10), others tuned in for the commercials. The ads which air during the big game are known to be some of the most entertaining of the year, and hence are highly-anticipated.
Commercials during the biggest night of the football season always generate both excitement and criticism. This year’s round of commercials were no exception, but a surprising company was the recipient of some negative attention. Quicken Loans aired its first commercial ever to be featured during the big game this year, and was immediately faced with backlash.
The Ad: #RocketMortgage
The advertisement in question focused on Rocket Mortgage, a relatively-new Quicken Loans app that allows consumers to qualify for a mortgage in 10 minutes or less. The commercial centers around the idea that everything should be as quick and easy as buying music or a pair of shoes online— even getting a mortgage. In the ad, Quicken Loans suggests that the simplicity of the “push button, get mortgage” process will lead to more people buying homes, which will boost the economy in more ways than one.
See the commercial for yourself: https://youtu.be/QlRm6Y5iVfw.
Within seconds of the commercial’s airing, the company was overrun by a wave of harsh criticism on social media. Users scolded Quicken Loans for encouraging the same sort of lending practices which they say contributed to the housing crash in 2008. These critics claimed the scroll-click-sign nature of Rocket Mortgage makes getting a mortgage too easy. Many warned that the app is dangerous for borrowers, as it encourages a rushed decision. Even the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took to Twitter to urge users to take their time and ask questions when seeking a mortgage after the spot aired.
So, is the backlash warranted? Not necessarily. Worries that the ability to lock in a mortgage in under 10 minutes might cause consumers to make an important financial decision too quickly are warranted, but the other claims don’t quite hold water. While Rocket Mortgage expedites the process, it doesn’t change the requirements of it. Consumers utilizing the app are still subject to the same regulations as anyone else seeking a mortgage.
If the Rocket Mortgage controversy can teach consumers anything, it’s the importance of being well-informed about both the loan and the lender before signing. The process may be quicker, but that doesn’t mean the decision making should be. Taking on a mortgage which one is not financially prepared for can have serious consequences down the line.
If you’re having trouble keeping up with your mortgage payments now, don’t panic. You still have options to improve your financial future. Set up a consultation with a Miami foreclosure attorney to learn about all of your financial options including loan modification. We invite you to share your thoughts on the Quicken Loan’s commercial with us in the comments.