Excerpt from CNN Money – “Yield Spread Premiums Can Bite You” By: Les Christie

Beware of unsolicited offers, especially ones that purport to free up a lot of cash. The great majority of mortgage brokers are fully trustworthy but borrowers still have to protect themselves against the ones that aren’t.

“At the very least, always get references,” said Neil Garfinkel, a real estate attorney with Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson in New York. Ideally deal with brokers who have been recommended by someone you trust.

If you feel you need objective advice, hire a real estate attorney. They can protect their clients from making serious mistakes. Their fees run from about $750 to $1,000, but you get a lot for that.

“If I’m going to manage the process,” said Garfinkel, “I’m going to manage the process. I’ll make sure the title company isn’t overcharging. I’ll go over the loan paperwork.”

Refinancings are often simple enough, however, so home owners can handle the work themselves. Garfinkel advises to go on the net and “Educate yourself. Don’t assume that you know everything.”