Banks Offering Mortgages to Illegal Entrants

All immigrants need is an individual taxpayer identification number issued by the Internal Revenue Service, a steady income for at least two years and a good credit rating.
Dozens of immigrants in metro Phoenix already have been approved for these loans, often for up to $150,000. Their biggest challenge is finding affordable houses in a market where the median home value is teetering on $250,000.

The availability of these mortgages illustrates the growing interest by companies to tap into the immigrant market, said Derene Allen, a senior vice president at Santiago Solutions Group's office in San Francisco.
Despite the furor over illegal immigration, companies can't ignore the potential of growing loyal, lifelong customers, she said.
Banks have no obligation to check immigration status, said David Barr, spokesman for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in Washington, D.C. "Why assume this person is not here legally?" he said.
Financial institutions started to tap into the undocumented-immigrant market a few years ago by opening checking and savings accounts using a popular Mexican identification card known as the matrĂ­cula consular. A few community banks have gone a step further in offering loans and mortgages.

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