Is BofA’s ‘No Fee Mortgage Plus’ a good deal?

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There is much to admire in Bank of America's new No Fee Mortgage Plus (NFMP) program for home purchasers. NFMP collapses all lender fees into one combination of interest rate and points, eliminating the myriad of separate lender "junk fees" that confuse shoppers. Junk fees are also a source of abuse by less scrupulous lenders who may raise them at the 11th hour. BofA is not unique in eliminating junk fees. Upfront Mortgage Lenders (UMLs -- there are now four listed on my Web site) also commit to a single guaranteed fee, as does ABN AMRO. But BofA is the largest, and hopefully it will induce other large players to follow suit. An even more impressive feature of NFMP is its absorption of all private third-party charges, including title insurance, mortgage insurance, appraisal costs and credit report. BofA includes third-party costs as well as its own costs in its rate and points. The only other lender that does this is ABN AMRO, but BofA goes a step further in absorbing mortgage insur...