Loans exist in legal gray area; immigrants [illegal aliens] invest where they work

By Greg Avery, Boulder (Colorado) Daily Camera Business, September 19, 2005

Loans exist in legal gray area; immigrants [illegal aliens] invest where they work

Editor's note: This is part two of a pair of stories examining the obstacles Hispanic homebuyers face in getting a loan to buy a house.

...Amid the various loans written by Inspired Home Lending, the year-old brokerage Quintana and his brother, Richard, started at 636 Coffman St. in Longmont, are mortgages designed to help tax-paying illegal immigrants buy a house.

Three months ago, Inspired Lending began offering mortgages issued based on individual tax identification numbers, or ITINs, issued by the IRS for people ineligible for Social Security numbers.

Hispanics in Boulder and Broomfield counties are more than three times more likely to be rejected for a home loans than to whites, Daily Camera research shows. Among the more prominent reasons for the high rejection rate, lenders say, is the number of Mexican immigrants [illegal aliens] trying to get loans with fraudulent residency documentation or without any documentation.

ITIN loans allow a growing number of lenders to finance home purchases by working immigrants [illegal aliens] who pay income taxes but lack legal residency, all using the person's real and verifiable identity....

As many as 1.5 million undocumented Latinos [illegal aliens] fit the profile of likely homebuyers and could generate up to $44 billion in loans if mortgages were more accessible to them, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals concluded in a study last year.

An anti-illegal immigration activist group in Washington, D.C., Friends of Immigration Law Enforcement, has e-mailed supporters form letters to be sent to local law enforcement and the officers of banks that do ITIN loans. The letter accuses the banks of breaking federal law by issuing a mortgage to a noncitizen and "knowingly encouraging the illegal alien to reside illegally in the United States."...

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which regulates many of the nation's banks, is neutral on the use of ITINs....


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