Study finds high error rate in equity loan calculations

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Many homeowners were alarmed in 1991 when Consumer Loan Advocates made a shocking discovery: Forty-seven percent of all adjustable-rate mortgages were calculated incorrectly, costing consumers millions of dollars.

Now comes this bombshell from the Lake Bluff, Ill., loan-auditing firm.

A recent analysis of 110 home-equity lines of credit found a 74.5 percent error rate, to the tune of about $257 a year per family.

If the findings by Consumer Loan Advocates' are accurate, they could point to a major problem, because the number of home-equity loans has soared in recent years.

The market has grown from about $183 billion in 1986 to $357 billion last year.

The analysis found that most of the errors occurred because incorrect figures were used to calculate interest payments or because workers made simple mistakes in some cases.

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