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Privacy

Stearns Lending, Inc. (“Stearns”) is committed to protecting the privacy and security of our customers’ personal information. We collect and maintain your information to enable us to complete your loan transaction, conduct our business in a manner consistent with federal and state laws and regulations, provide you with information and offers on products to meet your future needs, and satisfy legal requirements.

This policy governs Stearns’ use of non-public personal customer information. Non-public personal information is defined in applicable law and generally means financial information that is identified with you that is not obtainable from a public source. For example, your credit information is non-public information; i.e. a list of mortgage customers that includes current loan balances would be non-public. Non-public information does not include any list, description, or grouping that is created using only public information.

How We Obtain Personal Customer Information

In conducting our business, we collect and maintain various types of information about our customers. If we are unable to obtain such information from you, we may be prevented from providing you with a service and/or may be compelled to terminate a service that we are currently providing you. The types of information we collect and maintain include:

  • Information that we receive directly from you in applications and other forms that you deliver to us, and from our communications with you. This may include information such as your address, telephone number, account numbers, Social Security numbers, assets, income, debt, etc.
  • Information we compile from your transactions or experiences with us. This may include information such as your account balances, payment history, etc.
  • Information we receive from other sources regarding your employment, credit or other relationship with them or verifying information you have given us. This may include information such as your employment history, loan and/or credit card payment history, loan or credit card balances, your property insurance coverage, appraisals of your residence, etc.
  • Information we receive from credit bureaus regarding your credit history and creditworthiness (such as the amount of your total debt, your payment history, etc.).
  • Information we obtain from public sources. This may include information contained in federal, state and local records such as recorded liens on your property, real estate taxes and assessments, tax liens, etc.
  • When you visit any of our websites, we may collect information to measure the use of our site and to assist us in improving the content of our site; however, we do not collect information about visitors to our websites unless you voluntarily choose to provide it. “Cookies” are necessary for the security of your account and they are small bits of information sent by a website’s server to a user.
How We Obtain Personal Customer Information

We use your personal information only for legitimate business purposes in a manner consistent with lending practices in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. We do not sell customer information (described above) to non-affiliated third parties for marketing purposes. The following summarizes the principal ways in which Stearns uses such information.

  1. Within Stearns.Within Stearns, we use your non-public personal information to:
    • Conduct our Business in a Safe and Sound Manner. For example, we use information gathered in loan applications to ensure that we underwrite or broker loans in a prudent manner consistent with federal and state lending regulations.
    • Satisfy Legal Requirements.

  2. With Unaffiliated Third Parties. Stearns will sometimes disclose your personal information to companies or entities unaffiliated with Stearns. This might occur in the following circumstances:
    • Third Party Services. On a confidential basis, we may disclose your personal information to companies that provide services to Stearns.
    • Lenders, Title Companies, Escrow Companies, etc. On a confidential basis, we may disclose your personal information to lenders,title companies, escrow companies, etc. This information may be necessary to facilitate your loan transaction.
    • Legal Requirements. We are sometimes required to disclose your personal information in order to comply with subpoenas, court orders, and legal reporting requirements
    • Credit Reporting Agencies. We may disclose information relating to our experience with you to credit reporting agencies and similar organizations.
    • Written Consent. We may disclose your personal information with your written consent, including when you give someone power of attorney or other authorization to act on your behalf.
    • Business Transfers. We may disclose your personal information in connection with a proposed or actual sale or transfer of your loan to another company.
    • Fraud Prevention. We may disclose your personal information to prevent fraud and unauthorized transactions, to resolve customer disputes, and, as necessary, to Stearns’ regulators, attorneys, accountants, and auditors.
How To Limit Our Use Or Disclosure of Your Personal Information

From time to time, Stearns will share your personal information with non-affiliated companies. If you would prefer that we not communicate your non-public personal information (other than transaction and experience information, which we are authorized to do under the Fair Credit Reporting Act), or that we not communicate your non-public personal information with non-affiliated parties, you may instruct us not to do so (“Opt Out Request”) by: calling us toll-free at (800) 350-5363, ext 7012, via e-mail to btelles@stearns.com or by sending us a written request addressed to:

Attn: Opt Out Request - Compliance Department
Stearns Lending, Inc.
4 Hutton Centre Dr., Suite 500
Santa Ana, California, 92707

Please allow us about 60 days to process your request, after receipt.

Your request will not apply to: (a) disclosures of information regarding our experience with you, to the extent such disclosures are permitted by law (for example, information about your payment history disclosed to a credit bureau or lender purchasing your loan); (b) disclosures required by law; or (c) any specific disclosures which you consent to in writing. Your Opt Out will remain effective until revoked by you.

Protecting Personal Customer Information From Unauthorized Access

Safeguarding your personal information is important at Stearns. We maintain systems, policies and procedures to protect your personal information from being accessed by unauthorized persons. We limit employee access to personal customer information to those with a legitimate business reason for such access. We will retain your personal information only as long as necessary to handle your loan transaction, conform to safe and sound banking practices, or satisfy legal requirements. We train our employees in our privacy policy and procedures, and they are held accountable for adhering to them.

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