No Social Security Number? No Problem!

By: Mike Shedlock | Tue, Nov 22, 2005
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It's the American dream: owning a home.

With the recent spike in housing costs, it's become more difficult for many Valley families to qualify for a home loan. But some local banks are giving out loans, and they don't even require a social security number.

David seems like your typical first-time homeowner. The house is small, money's tight. But his family is happy. "It was our dream." he said. "So it was like our dream became true, finally."

But getting a loan from the bank almost didn't happen. An employee from the bank called and said it seemed they had a problem. The problem was David's social security number ... it's a fake.

He is undocumented, an illegal immigrant. David thought it was a dead end, but not in California. It's among a few states where banks are offering mortgages to people who they know are illegal.

David got a 30-year, $135,000 loan. He pays $950 a month for his house in the South Valley.

The Valley non-profit group Acorn is helping people like David. They set him up with Citibank in Fresno, where a social security number is not required.

Instead, it asks for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or I-TIN. It proves they pay taxes to the IRS. Applicants also have to have a bank account, proof of US residency for two years, and two years of credit references.

Diana Hull, an illegal immigrant opponent and president of a group called Californians For Population Stabilization says against the law. "There is a law against aiding and abetting illegal aliens to continue to live in the United States. Issuing a mortgage to an illegal alien is helping him establish himself and remain the United States, which is clearly illegal. It's a felony," she says.

Despite the accusations that what they're doing is illegal, Citigroup and Acorn stand by the program.

Acorn issued a statement saying everything about their program is legal. They say in the United States, it is perfectly legal for non-citizens to own property.

When asked about its opinion on whether the program is indeed legal, or unlawfully entices illegal immigrants to stay, the U.S. Attorney's office refused an answer.

The attorney general refused to answer a question as to whether or not the practice is illegal?! What kind of nonsense is this?

This is how I see it.

There is nothing illegal about foreigners owning property in the US but it an entirely different matter when they lie about their status, lie about income earned illegally, and lie about their owner occupied status in order to get a lower rate. Then again, they will be occupying that house, so who cares if they do so in a legal or illegal manner? Certainly not Citicorp who is more than happy to process the loan sell it for a fee to Fannie Mae. As long as someone can make money on these loans no one really cares if they are aiding and abetting illegal aliens or not.

Here is the bottom line.


Mike Shedlock

Author: Mike Shedlock

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Mike Shedlock

Michael "Mish" Shedlock is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. Visit to learn more about wealth management for investors seeking strong performance with low volatility.

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