DEAR BOB: In a recent article you recommended a home buyer get pre-approved in writing by a mortgage lender. You said to be sure the approval comes from a lender, not a mortgage broker. Since you didn’t elaborate, it sounded like using a mortgage broker was a bad idea. As a mortgage broker, I realize there are some mortgage brokers who give the rest of us a bad name. But we honest mortgage brokers provide very valuable services. At our mortgage brokerage, our pre-approvals are based on underwriting approvals from the actual lenders. Also, only the actual lender can issue an interest rate lock-in, and we just pass the information to our borrower. Our lenders are wholesale, not retail, so they offer lower rates. For example, we offer about

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