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There Are Ways to Avoid Paying PMI

July 25, 1999

As a high-volume mortgage broker in Los Angeles, I was both puzzled and disappointed after reading the July 18 article by Kenneth Harney ("Move Toward Eliminating PMI").

Doesn't anybody do research anymore? "Self-insured" loans have been around for years and are offered by many local and national lenders (Countrywide, PHH and Chase, to name just a few).

I have nothing against Washington Mutual; I do a good deal of business with the company and it offers some excellent loan programs. However, its "Advantage 90" is hardly a new idea. I have helped many of my clients avoid the waste of PMI by counseling them about self-insured loans as well as other options for getting around PMI, such as 80-10-10 or 80-15-5 loans.

The best thing a prospective buyer can do is get a good referral from a friend or colleague for a reliable and knowledgeable lender who can guide him through the increasingly complex maze of home financing.

Perhaps Harney should do the same when he prepares his next article.

SANDY EDELSTEIN

First Financial

Santa Monica

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