Contact loan companies to stop offers
How do we stop all the unsolicited loan offers coming to our house from local companies? Ever since our mortgage was recorded last year, we've been getting offers for home equity loans. We can tell that they're coming from the mortgage records because of the way our names and address are listed. We tell them to add us to their "Do Not Contact" lists, but it's like cockroaches -- as soon as you kill one, three more show up. I know that I can tell the national credit agencies to stop unsolicited offers, but how do I stop these local companies when they access local public information? Is there any way that the mortgage records can keep our name and address out of the bulk mailer's hands?
Answer: No. For now you'd have to contact each local company and ask to be taken off its mailing list.
Mortgage documents -- minus personal information, such as Social Security numbers -- are recorded at the state Bureau of Conveyances.
They are considered public records, so anyone could go to the bureau to review and copy information that would include such things as addresses, an official with the bureau said.
That would be a time-consuming task, he added.
For now, he said, there is no separate or convenient online index listing the names and addresses of mortgage holders in the state.
Indexes only show who bought and sold a piece of property, he said.
Meanwhile, real property owner information (not mortgage information) is available on city Web sites -- the Department of Budget and Financial Services' site, www.honolulupropertytax.com, and the Department of Planning and Permitting's site, gis.hicentral.com.
State law does not provide for selectively removing information, other than confidential information, such as Social Security numbers, from public records, said city administration spokesman Bill Brennan.
"In any case, we do not provide any requesters with a list of people with mortgages," he said.
Q: We recently received a promotion from a mortgage company advertising lower rates. We have mortgages with American Savings Bank. The solicitation has information about our mortgage. How were they able to get this information and why, particularly now when there is so much concern about identity theft?
A: American Savings Bank's policy is that it "does not release any personal information (about customers) to marketers or anybody like that," said A.J. Oxley, corporate communications specialist for the bank.
He points out that names, addresses, the names of mortgage lenders and even mortgage amounts are registered with the state, and that information is considered public record (see above).
However, American Savings Bank has "a strict policy" against selling or giving out lists of its customers, he said.
If you have any concerns or questions, Oxley said to contact the bank.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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