Subprime, predatory home loans are not the same

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DEAR BOB: What is the difference between a subprime and a predatory home mortgage? I ask, because as a real estate broker working in a low-income neighborhood that is rapidly "turning around" and improving, I often talk with homeowners who either have or are thinking about obtaining refinanced mortgages that have horrible terms. Not only are the interest rates much higher than the market rate, but they also often have stiff prepayment penalties and huge up-front loan fees --Stephen R. DEAR STEPHEN: Congratulations on trying to help homeowners in your vicinity. Today, virtually every home buyer and homeowner can obtain a mortgage to buy or refinance their home. However, as you discovered, the terms of mortgages to borrowers with poor credit are often much different than those available to borrowers with good credit. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. The key criteria for most mortgage lenders are (a) total household income and (b) the borrower's FICO (Fair Isaac Corp.) credit score. Alt...