As the questionable practices employed by some mortgage lenders during the housing boom come under public scrutiny, lenders who can position themselves as consumer-friendly expect to benefit from borrowers' heightened skepticism. Finding the best deal for their customers may generate smaller profits on a per-loan basis, the thinking goes, but they'll win more repeat and referral business. One such company is San Francisco-based LoanInsights Inc., which claims to have developed an online search platform that gives consumers access to more than a dozen lenders' wholesale rates and guidelines. The site allows consumers to query lenders much the way mortgage brokers do -- plugging in different loan types and down-payment options to see offers they are likely to qualify for. "The technology ...
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