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2007-09-24 09:33:00

Web Site Launches Free Debt Consolidation Tool for Homeowners

Amidst the mortgage industry meltdown, Internet startup LionSaves announces its launch in seven states. With an industry changing business model, it promises to shake the foundation of large mortgage web sites. Founded by Mike Sweeney, the site has been over a year in the making and is designed specifically for homeowners to consolidate debt.

"The recent mortgage mess is due in large part to the high pressure sales approach the industry takes with consumers. Pushy, and sometimes unscrupulous, commissioned salespeople misguide consumers into risky loans. Plus, large sites like LowerMyBills, LendingTree and NexTag aren't lenders, but rather lead generators. They collect the user's name, number and e-mail and sell it off to four lenders. Some lead generation sites actually sell collected info off to other sites. All of this leads to more pushy sales calls and spam," said Sweeney.

This site is a valuable resource since it empowers the user with personalized and accurate results, instantly.

A common tactic is to advertise a hook to draw people to a site. Ads show a 1% interest rate or a really low payment, which quickly increase after the consumer gets the loan. "It's no different than a used car dealer advertising a SUV getting 50 miles to the gallon ... downhill. It's not the whole truth and it's a big reason why so many homeowners are in trouble." Sweeney adds, "It's essentially bait and switch. I think consumers are fed up with it and with their info being sold off to, well ... who knows who?"

The LionSaves  model is designed specifically as a debt consolidation tool for homeowners. It is based on consumers preferring personalized answers instantly without giving any contact information or talking to a salesperson. "It's the first web site of its kind. No pressure, no hassle. I think the average consumer is very intelligent and will appreciate this approach. It shows instantly if savings are possible by consolidating debt with a new mortgage," he said.

After 12 years in the mortgage business, he realized many homeowners don't know how much they can save through debt consolidation. However, most also dread having to talk to a salesperson. There was no website that gave personalized information instantly or didn't require the user to give their contact information.

"So, I thought, why not have a site to let homeowners discover answers instantly yet remain anonymous. A debt consolidation tool giving real numbers, not misleading or "teaser" rates. It would help some people learn they can save, and others they're better off to do nothing."

By taking out the sales pressure and focusing on empowerment through education, the site offers a new solution. It explains the different types of loans and both the pros and cons for the consumer. "I believe consumers can make good choices if they know enough about the good and the bad of their options," he said.

More than two million adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) are poised to reset at much higher rates in coming months. Combined with consumer debt at record highs, many homeowners will need to consolidate debt to keep their overall payments down. "This site is a valuable resource since it empowers the user with personalized and accurate results, instantly," he noted.

By offering users an unheard of resource, LionSaves is breaking new ground. The site performs hundreds of calculations to produce accurate results. It assesses the loan options available based on such variables as the state, county taxes, house value, equity in home, and the amount of consumer debt. If there isn't enough equity to payoff all debt, it analyzes the debt and ranks the payoff order to maximize the monthly savings. The end result is an application allowing users to get debt consolidation answers in seconds that would normally take a loan officer hours to calculate. Then, it shows if savings are possible and gives the user a complete analysis of the interest rate and closing costs to make the an informed decision.

The tool is currently available in SD, ND, CO, UT, ID, NM and WY and will soon be nationwide. LionSaves is a HUD approved lender and uses FHA, Fannie Mae and 2nd mortgage refinances to consolidate debt. It is designed for homeowners with debts who have at least average credit, some equity in their home, and are employed. First mortgages go up to $417,000 and the second mortgages to $150,000. It's not for rental properties, poor credit or foreclosures.

Homeowners can play with multiple scenarios and feel secure knowing their contact information is given only if they decide to apply for a loan or sign up for the free e-mail alert based on triggers they set, with no catches. Combining consumer debt into a new mortgage doesn't save everyone money. It depends on each situation. Consumers can find out instantly if they can save. If so, LionSaves is an actual mortgage lender that offers all loans shown.

Sweeney also envisioned the company making a difference in the world by helping people in need. So, along with the company's monthly donation, a $25 charitable donation is made on every file. Clients choose which pre-selected charity will receive the donation from their file.  In an industry that's overly focused on the bottom line, gives back and lets users decide how.

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