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Beware of mortgage mailings---some too good to be true, experts say

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 18 2013 05:33:51 AM CST

Mortgage mailings

You've probably gotten letters urging you to refinance your home. But are those deals too good to be true?

After having a second child, Linette Rudolph of Bethlehem knew it was time to look for a cheaper mortgage on her home.

"Just, you know, additional expenses with another child, so every little bit helped," she said.

Rudolph was deluged with letters promising great rates.

"But I went with somebody I knew and trusted," she said.

Brian Bortz with Waterstone Mortgage Corporation says to beware of mortgage mailings.

"They're designed to shock you," he said. "They're not necessarily illegitimate, but they're not necessarily anything that you should be concerned about."

Remember, refinancing isn't cheap. It cost Rudolph three thousand dollars, and older homes may need a new appraisal.

"Everyone's situation is a little bit different," said Bortz.

Good candidates are homeowners locked in a higher interest rate.

"Anything over five percent would be considered high," according to Bortz.

Or those who need to take out cash for some reason.

"Some people take cash out to pay for educational expenses, things like that," he said.

According to Bortz, sometimes it makes sense to get a shorter loan.

"You're not necessarily going to save on a monthly basis, but you're going to save a whole lot of money in interest over the remaining life of the loan," said Bortz.

For Rudolph, the time and the cost paid off.

"In the long run, it was worth it for me."

Her monthly bill dropped almost 200 dollars.

"My interest rate now is three and three-quarters," she said.

It means more money in the bank for her two little ones.