Today I learned about mortgage fraud. It had not occurred to me that such a thing existed. When we got our mortgage, it was through the local bank, and my mom goes to church with the branch pres. Apparently though, there are unscrupulous folks who will mine and sell your personal data when you are trying to get a home loan. The financial forums at PHLM have some information on how to avoid such scams. It’s important to have enough information to fully understand the ins and outs of borrowing intelligently. The mortgage directory and industry information are a good place to start your research, and personal information you enter on the site is protected through SecureTrust which guarantees compliance with FTC, DoNotCall & Can Spam regulations.
Don’t stop with this, though. The forums and are young and not extensive, and you’ll need more info to make a good decision. I’m surprised to find a user named “Fannie Mae” in a mortgage forum, and I can’t view the profiles without registering. As with anything else you read, take the good, spit out the bad, and use lots of salt. And read your contracts. Don’t sign anything you don’t understand. Mortgage companies are going to make good money off of you, and they can certainly take time to explain in terms you can understand the terms of the contract. If they can’t or won’t, go elsewhere.
Also investigate using a “buyer’s agent” for a realtor. Long ago and far away, all realtor’s represented the seller, but my understanding is that this has changed, and you can now find one to represent the buyer. Realtors learn more about the ins and outs of local mortgages than you can afford not to know. They know where to find the good deals, and they also know which companies to avoid. Take advantage of that expertise.