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Mortgage applications: clear as mud

August 29, 2004|From Times wire reports

Mortgage applications are the most confusing paperwork American consumers confront, edging out health insurance benefits forms and federal income tax returns, according to a recent study.

Of about 1,700 respondents, 60% cited mortgage applications as a difficult-to-understand document they've read in the last 30 days, according to the Perplexity Poll conducted by Siegel & Gale. Peter Allen, the firm's marketing services director, said most consumers polled "remember that a significant portion of the process was unpleasant."

The hot housing market has helped propel mortgage applications to the top of the difficult-to-understand list because so many people have been dealing with them recently, Allen added.

The survey also revealed that 57% found health insurance benefits forms confusing, followed by 48% who were confused by federal income tax returns. The poll was conducted in June among a random sample of U.S. consumers at least 18 years old. Siegel & Gale is a strategic branding firm that focuses on communication.

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