2,884 Marylanders with FHA loans eligible for refunds

Real Estate Watch

November 30, 1997

The Department of Housing and Urban Development wants to return thousands of dollars to Maryland homeowners who had FHA-insured mortgages, as well as give them a warning about "tracers" who offer to obtain the refunds in return for a commission.

The refunds will be made to people who paid off their FHA-insured mortgages during the seven-year period that began Sept. 1, 1983. That would include homeowners who paid off their mortgages by refinancing.

A homeowner could also be due a refund from the government if he or she bought a home before Sept. 1, 1983, made mortgage payments for more than seven years and paid off the loan before Nov. 5, 1990.

In Maryland, there are 2,884 eligible homeowners who are owed almost $1.5 million. Of the 2,884, almost 1,500 were from the Baltimore metropolitan area. Nationwide, 100,000 homebuyers are owed $70 million.

Meanwhile, the department and the Federal Trade Commission also are moving against the so-called tracers.

While it is not illegal for borrowers to use tracers or for tracers to be paid a fee for their service, it is illegal for a tracer to tell a homebuyer that the homebuyer must pay the tracer a fee in order to get a refund.

HUD Secretary Andrew M. Cuomo said the department will work with the Internal Revenue Service to locate the people owed refunds.

For information, call 1-800-697-6967 or search HUD's Internet Web site at http: //www.hud.gov/cgi-bin/refund2.

Pub Date: 11/30/97

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