Disclosure validates mortgage-broker kickback

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DEAR BOB: We purchased our home last November. When signing the closing papers, I noticed for the first time a payment from the lender to our mortgage broker of 1.25 percent of our home equity credit line, which was part of the transaction. I commented to the closing agent, "This looks like a kickback." He replied, "The only reason it is not illegal is because it was disclosed to you." I let it go, figuring it was no money out of my pocket and we got a good deal. Several months later, I met an associate with the same lender who discussed my credit line. At that point, I first realized our mortgage broker might have been paid off and it cost us money in the form of a higher interest rate. What is your opinion? – Matt W. DEAR MATT: If you are paying higher than the so-called prime rate (currently 4.25 percent) on your home equity credit line, you are paying too much. Some home equity credit line lenders even charge one-fourth or one-half percent less than the prime rate. Purchase...