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FHA lenders accused of snubbing subprime borrowers

'Mystery shopping' leads to complaints against 22 lenders

Most FHA lenders aren't offering mortgages to would-be borrowers with credit scores under 620, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition alleges in complaints filed with federal regulators against 22 lenders.The NCRC said "mystery shopping" tests of the nation's top FHA-approved lenders found that two-thirds -- 32 lenders in total -- would not offer applications for FHA-guaranteed loans to potentially qualified borrowers with FICO scores below 620.NCRC's findings are consistent with an analysis Zillow.com conducted in September, which found most borrowers with credit sores below 620 were unlikely to receive even one loan quote on Zillow's Mortgage Marketplace, even if they offered to make large downpayments of 15 to 25 percent.While borrowers with FICO scores below 620 are often characterized as "subprime," the FHA will guarantee loans to qualified borrowers with FICO scores of 580 who meet other underwriting requirements and are able to make a minimum 3.5 perce...

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