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Letters to the Editor (2) - September 06 2006

Loan rates, CL as a saving grace

IF I MAY

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To whom it may concern,

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In response to the recent article about loan rates and fraud in Atlanta (Fallout, "Study shows strong disparity in loan rates," Aug. 24), I would like to cast some light onto the other side of the issue. The high number of foreclosures are happening because of fraud, as well as people's inability or want to pay their mortgage. When people are researching loans, some go for the ARMs because of the low interest rate. Usually, people are uninformed about the terms or do not pay attention to when the rate will be adjusted. Then, at the time of adjustment, they are shocked at the amount of their mortgage, which ultimately keeps adjusting every year, usually. In contrast, loans are not supposed to be about "redlining" or making a huge amount of money off the individual. There are a lot of mortgage companies out there that take advantage of people, and this issue can be solved twofold. A. Ask questions! B. Know your loan consultant!

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Getting a loan for your home can be as hazardous as finding a mechanic to fix the unknown noise coming from your car and having them not take advantage of you. As far as interest-only loans, the author is right about them being for people who want to sell or "refi." However, they are also good for investment properties, as well as people who want to be able to write off a large amount of money for their tax return. My mortgage company (First Financial Mortgage Services) has 10-year interest-only loans available, as well. Finally, the notion of refinancing: Most people refinance to live off the equity of their home. The proper reasons to refinance are to get a lower rate, pay off high-interest bills or to set up an IRA account. Maintaining the life of the loan is the easy part; the hard part is finding the right and trusted person to produce it.

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-- Lete Carlson, Atlanta

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SAVING GRACE

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Thank you from a recovering addict and homeless man. Your newspaper was there for me, free of charge, when I could not afford the 50 cents to feed a machine and take part in an upwardly mobile tradition in civilized news enlightenment! Thanks to y'all, I was not only apprised of world and community news but also of the true diversity of this exciting, "international New South metropolis," which is Atlanta. Being a denizen of the notorious crack-infested block of Peachtree and Pine Street, I traversed daily between there and the day labor pools at the southwestern end of the tourist triangle. This was my area of habitat for several years and from an insider's perspective, I whole heartedly agree with the mayor's "aggressive pan handling law." Several articles in your paper Ive read about my plight of crack cocaine addiction and homelessness in the downtown Atlanta area have stayed with me. Like how disconcerting it is for business or homeowners to come to their dwellings and have to contend with: loitering dope dealers tauntingly counting cash, users urinating and dope fiends defecating on doorsteps. Yes, CL, I am thankful for your newspaper and very thankful to be clean. No, I did not unabashedly urinate or defecate on doorsteps, nor did I aggressively panhandle. I did, however, live on the streets getting high and existing in a primal state of mind through which an anger toward any earthly enabling entity that feeds complacency in that lifestyle was formed. My disdain for certain mentalities, which in my opinion promote crack use, which fosters the majority of homelessness experienced by downtown Atlanta, has prompted me to write!!! Thank you again CL for y'all have freely inspired me to enjoy life in this "New South international city." I enjoy writing as a new hobby that I'll utilize as a tool to help me stay clean. I look forward to participating in your writing contest in the future.

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-- James T., Atlanta