DEAR BOB: Recently I have received several mortgage solicitation letters from mortgage brokers offering to refinance my home loan at a lower interest rate with a lower monthly payment. They seem to have accurate details about my current mortgage, such as its interest rate. I phoned one of these lenders and was rudely treated on the phone. How do they get my mortgage information? Are they reliable? – Baron W.

DEAR BARON: Don’t be misled by those mortgage solicitation letters.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

Various firms research recorded home mortgage information and sell those lists to mortgage brokers and other lenders who then solicit you to refinance.

Most of those mass mailings are bogus. Until a reliable, local lender makes you a written loan commitment, you have nothing.

The best way to refinance is by first contacting your existing lender to learn their best refinance terms. Then compare those terms with those offered by at least two other local lenders, preferably firms recommended by friends and business associates who have recently refinanced.


DEAR BOB: As a professional surveyor for 16 years, I want you to know you are 100 percent correct that a survey by a licensed surveyor is not always accurate. I work for a large firm where we get assignments of many different types. The worst are the fence boundary disputes. Even when a fence has been in place for many years, it does not always show the true legal boundary between two parcels. Also, just because one owner has a survey, it might not be accurate. Surveyors make mistakes. Some are downright incompetent. I enjoy your articles, especially when you emphasize a fence is not always the true boundary – Derek H.

DEAR DEREK: Thank you for sharing your expert information. I’ve often suggested that when a neighbor says he/she has a professional survey, the adjoining neighbor obtain his/her own survey from another surveyor to verify accuracy.


DEAR BOB: We bought our home about four years ago. At that time, we obtained an owner’s title insurance policy. It didn’t disclose anything out of line. However, we recently learned the city sewer goes underneath our back yard, about four feet from the property line. Neighborhood rumor is the city might have to replace this old sewer and dig up all our back yards. Is the title company liable to us for failure to disclose this easement at the time of our purchase? – Ruby R.

DEAR RUBY: Possibly. But you will need to prove damage for the title insurer’s error in failing to disclose a properly recorded underground easement.

You might want to notify the title insurer of their possible liability. But filing a claim at this early date might be premature unless you can prove actual damages. For more details, please consult a local real estate attorney.

The new Robert Bruss special report, “How to Become a Successful Real Estate Negotiator,” is now available for $4 from Robert Bruss, 251 Park Road, Burlingame, CA 94010 or by credit card at 1-800-736-1736 or instant Internet download at Questions for this column are welcome at either address.

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center


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