Your Real Estate Q&A, "There Are Good and Bad Mortgage Brokers," (Jan. 6) did not address the "good." The truth is that more and more realtors and consumers are using mortgage brokers to save them time and money. The fact that you and one of your readers had bad experiences with mortgage brokers is not representative of our industry.
There are unscrupulous, unknowledgeable, nonprofessional mortgage brokers. The same can be said for realtors, journalists, contractors, attorneys and so on. Like other professions, the bad ones are the minority and can affect the reputation of the majority.
How do you find a good mortgage broker? Ask for references. Ask realtors whom they would recommend. Call a lender that works with mortgage brokers and ask for a referral. Make sure that the broker and loan agent are licensed. And find out if they are members of a trade association and subscribe to a code of ethics and standards of professional practice.
If you have a bad experience with a mortgage broker or a lender, call someone who can do something about it. The Department of Real Estate won't know there is a problem until they are notified. Also, the California Association of Mortgage Brokers has set up a Consumer Abuse Hot Line at (800) 253-2262 to accept calls regarding mortgage broker and direct lender problems.
MICHAEL B. GERBER
Gerber is president of the Los Angeles County Assn. of Mortgage Brokers