Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Mortgages for Immigrants (Legal and Not)

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette published an article back in July that I ran across earlier today. It discusses the subject of ITIN mortgages, mortgages to immigrants who only have a temporary ID number (as opposed to a Social Security Number). All in all, I find it a fascinating subject. Banks are clamoring to start giving ITIN mortgages because the default rate is exceedingly low. Note the quote from the article:

In four years, Mitchell Bank has issued about 100 similar home loans, mainly to illegal immigrants, and says it has never experienced a default; it has recorded two late payments. The average household income of borrowers is $30,000 annually, for mortgages ranging from $30,000 to $100,000. Thanks to its outreach to Latino immigrants, including many illegal ones, Mitchell Bank is recording 4.5 times more transactions and at least that much more traffic at its three branches than a few years ago. It is looking for a site to open a new branch in nearby Waukesha, which has a fast-growing Hispanic population. "Our portfolio is evidence that the undocumented are model customers," says Jeff Bowman, president of Mitchell Bank.

Only two late payments out of 100 loans!!! That is amazing.

Jill and I were discussing the whole subject of illegal immigrants in the US. Often they are paying into Social Security with no hope of benefitting from it. If you thought Social Security was in trouble before, just imagine that there were no illegal immigrants paying in like this (Jill heard a discussion on this on NPR). One of the difficult issues with illegal immigrants is that they provide a lot of benefit to the US. Maybe that's why the US government is willing to help them buy homes?