Learn to spot mortgage junk fees

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DEAR BOB: I've read your articles for years and find them incredibly helpful. But I'm wondering about mortgage refinance junk fees. I know we consumers have the right to avoid these fees, but my experience has been these lender fees usually come at the end of the refinance process after the mortgage is finally approved. How should borrowers distinguish between "real" fees and unnecessary junk fees? Will we ever find a mortgage without junk fees? --Nan S. DEAR NAN: Each mortgage lender is required to disclose all fees on the lender's Good Faith Estimate (GFE), which must be supplied to you within three days after you submit a written loan application. This form, however, is not binding on the lender and there is no penalty or legal enforcement for a lender's false GFE, but it's a starting place. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. When you spot a junk fee on the GFE, object to it up front. Unless the lender will waive or at least modify the junk fee, maybe you should do bu...