Identifying Predatory Lenders

Predatory lending consists of abusive practices by lenders within the mortgage industry. These types of lenders strip borrowers of the equity in their home and put them in danger of foreclosing on their home. But one does not have to fall victim to predatory lenders. There are tell-tale signs that everyone should be aware of to help them avoid falling prey. They are listed below:

1. Be wary of and avoid any lender who encourages you to lie on your loan application.

2. Be sure that you are given all disclosures. Check your loan papers and be sure that the Good Faith Estimate, Special Info Booklet, Truth in Lending and HUD-1 Settlement statements are all included.

3. A red flag should be raised if any lender asks you to leave signatures or other line-items blank. Also re-check your documents to make sure that nothing has been altered or changed without your knowledge and/or approval.

4. If a lender asks you to repeatedly refinance and after each instance your monthly payments and total loan amounts increase, you may be dealing with a predatory lender. Shop around and get a new lender as soon as possible.

5. Check the fine print. If you are required to pay daily interest whenever your payments are late, you may be dealing with a predatory lender.

6. If your loan amount is higher than the value of your home, this is reason to give pause and to be alarmed.

7. Be wary of unexpected settlement costs that you were not given prior notice to or explanation for.

8. If your monthly payments or loan is higher than you anticipated based on the disclosures, you might be dealing with an unscrupulous lender.

9. If your mortgage loan requires a balloon payment that requires that the final lump sum be financed with that lender, you may be dealing with a predatory lender.

10. You are not required to buy credit insurance or insurance that will pay off the loan if you die or are disabled. If you are heavily pressured to do so, beware.

Buying a home may be your most expensive and prized possession. There is a lot riding on choosing the right lender. Your credit score, your hard earned cash, and your ability to borrow money in the future are all at stake. This is why it is very important to screen and get rid of lenders who are looking to dupe you out of your money and your home.

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