Volatile rates make locking a must

If lender won't honor rate, broker may be true culprit

One of the unpleasant features of the mortgage crisis has been heightened volatility in the prices faced by borrowers. For example, the wholesale rate on 30-year fixed-rate conforming mortgages rose from 5.23 percent on February 6 to 6.16 percent on February 26, dropped to 5.65 percent on March 3, rose to 6.23 percent March 6, dropped to 5.38 percent March 20, and rose to 5.812 percent April 2. These numbers are drawn from the wholesale price data shown daily on my Web site.