Overpaying to get the loan?
The press release sums it up thusly:
The study found that there are significant and unsupported variations in loan charges, title fees and other closing costs charged to homebuyers, and that minority borrowers pay hundreds of dollars more in total loan origination fees than do non-minority homebuyers.
This isn't about the crazy mortgages of the late housing boom. The Urban Institute, which produced the study for HUD, looked at FHA-insured, fixed-rate mortgages originated in May and June of 2001.
HUD is trying to win support for a proposal that mortgage lenders and brokers give consumers a standard "good faith estimate" so consumers can more easily compare offers.
"This report demonstrates once and for all that the process consumers endure when they buy their homes is entirely too confusing," said HUD Deputy Secretary Roy A. Bernardi. "Clearly, we need to open the window and allow consumers to understand the fine print and shop more effectively for the largest purchase of their lives."According to the study:
--Title fees can range by more than $1,000 even in the same state and to "identical" borrowers
--Borrowers agreeing to higher interest rates aren't generally getting lower upfront fees in exchange
--African-American borrowers "pay an average of $415 more in total loan origination fees than non-minorities"
--Costs range substantially from state to state, even after accounting for differences in loan amounts and borrower qualifications. Nevada borrowers pay the most in lender or broker charges -- $2,700 more than the lowest-cost state, Alaska. Marylanders pay almost $1,900 more than Alaskans.