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UPDATE

Check mortgage lender's legitimacy

August 05, 2007|Diane Wedner

Consumers seeking home loans need to be vigilant against scam artists, especially now that U.S. banks are tightening lending standards for nontraditional and sub-prime home mortgages, making loans harder to come by.

The FBI recommends the following to avoid mortgage fraud:

* Get referrals for mortgage professionals, and check their licenses with state, county or city regulatory agencies.

* Be wary of unsolicited contacts and high-pressure sales techniques.

* Look at recent comparable sales and tax assessments to verify property value.

* If you don't understand all the fine print, see an attorney.

* Make sure the name on your application matches the name on your identification.

-- D.W.

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