Hayes Barnard, Paramount Equity Mortgage and advertising lies

Hayes Barnard and Paramount Equity fined about $400,000 for violations

This is not a photo of Hayes Barnard of Paramount Equity Mortgage, who was fined $400,000

You’ll notice I didn’t write “Hayes Barnard and Paramount Equity Lie.” No, I parsed the language (quite cleverly, if I say so myself). It leads you to believe something a bit different than what’s actually written.

It’s kind of like the radio commercials of Hayes Barnard and Paramount Equity Mortgage.

If you’ve never heard these spots, count your blessings. However, Mr. Barnard and his company are still eligible to do business in my state, Washington. They’re on the radio constantly. And that’s a shame. Because you can plainly see what Hayes Barnard and Paramount Equity were accused of by the Washington Department of Financial Institutions. Following another link, you can plainly see that Hayes Barnard and Paramount Equity paid about $400,000 in fines for a variety of violations.

If you’ve heard the Hayes Barnard and Paramount Equity Mortgage radio commercials, you’ve probably wondered how he can say all those things — they just sound too good to be true. Turns out, they were too good to be true. Yet he’s back at it. This time, he’s a little more clever. He does step in it a bit when he say he’s dedicated to saving his neighbors money. Neighbors? Hayes Barnard and Paramount Equity are located in Roseville, California. We’re in Spokane, 800 miles away. Do they run these spots elsewhere, or do they believe that residents of Eastern Washington are particularly gullible?

Those who participate in the time-honored practice of sleazy advertising, beware. We, the public, now have stuff that helps us catch on. Stuff like… Google. And blogs. And social media.  One of my fondest wishes is that this blog post ranks high in Google searches for “Hayes Barnard” and “Paramount Equity Mortgage,” so people can know what these guys are all about, and invest time and money in their “services.”

Those of you honest marketers: I urge you to join me in removing this stench. You can help by linking to this page. You can help by posting your own blog report. You can help by tweeting. Many thanks!

Added Feb. 15 2011: For another take, read this post on Hayes Barnard and Paramount Equity Mortgage’s violations and penalties.

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About Barrett Rossie @barrettrossie

Marketing manager that specializes in developing strategic messages that set brands apart, and bring their competitive position, benefits and brand personality to life. Visit me at http://barrettrossie.com View all posts by Barrett Rossie @barrettrossie

6 responses to “Hayes Barnard, Paramount Equity Mortgage and advertising lies

  • Martin R. Nelson

    This is just 1 example of deceptive lending practices from 1 of many deceptive lenders. It’s your money, do the reaserch, read your contract, compare! A lender should make money for their service and there have always been hidden fees. Keep in mind when they were accepting stated income statements with out verification ther were many boweres not being truthful about their income. Verify all your financial dealings before signing. If what is in the contract differs from what is said then believe the contract and fire the broker.

  • Barrett Rossie

    Martin, one of the things the WA Dept of Financial Institutions is a stickler for is the word “free”, used in the context of a negotiated price. A free appraisal? Hell no, you’re paying points — the cost is built in! I believe Paramount Equity Mortgage was fast and loose with “free.”

  • Richard

    In the spirit of honesty, I want to disclose that I am a competitor of Paramount. That said, listening to his awful commercials gets my blood boiling. The worst part is that he obviously makes enough money with these misleading statements to pay the fines… cost of doing (dishonest) business, I guess. Thank you for bringing this to light!

    • Barrett Rossie

      Thanks Richard, it makes my blood boil too. You’re not alone in your analysis of his strategy. Ohers (who know more about this stuff than I) tell me the penalties he’s paid don’t even come close to the profit he’s made. He should have lost his license, not gotten a slap on the wrist.

  • Rod Schwartz

    Barrett –

    Do you happen to know whether these ads were placed specifically on local stations as a local buy (i.e., advertising sold by Spokane radio reps) or are they part of a network or syndicated radio buy (in which case the local stations would be out of the loop)?

    Haven’t heard any of them – at least none that have made an impression – and I’m a longtime radio ad guy.

    I’d like to hear an example or two. I hate sleazy advertising and despise those who prey on the naive or gullible, whether it’s shoddy lending deals, nutritional supplements, medical nostrums of dubious value, “credit repair,” or naming-a-star-for-a-loved-one.

    -Rod Schwartz

    • Barrett Rossie

      Rod: Some of the commercials have a local plug. My educated guess is that Paramount Equity runs regional versions of any given spot in multiple markets. (E.g., in one version he says he wants to save his “Spokane neighbors” money. No doubt he want to save his Roseville neighbors, his Sacramento neighbors, etc.) This is a common practice.

      If you listen to talk radio, he’s been blanketing the airwaves for at least the past month, after what seems to have been a strategic retreat for the past year and a half.

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