Thursday, June 19, 2008

Some lenders continue to provide mortgages for illegals

Though illegal immigrants no longer can get a driver's license in North Carolina, they can still be approved for a home mortgage in that state. With an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), good credit and proof of tax filing, illegal aliens can qualify for a fixed-rate 'ITIN mortgage.'

Banks aren't required to keep track of how many ITIN home loans they give, so it's difficult to find accurate data on them, but there are estimated to be $3 billion in ITIN mortgages currently active in the U.S.

Community banks and credit unions began accepting the nine-digit numbers from mortgage applicants around 2000, most of them from illegal immigrants with modest incomes. By law, banks must verify customers' identity, but they don't have to check immigration status.

Mostly smaller banks are making the loans.

A few large banks began accepting them in pilot programs, although many, including Bank of America, still shy away from this controversial investment.

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