When I was buying my house a little over a decade ago, Carolyn Warren’s Mortgage Rip-Offs and Money Savers: An Industry Insider Explains How to Save Thousands on Your Mortgage or Re-finance was an indispensable ally. It reveals the mortgage industry as it was at the time, warts and all, in a clear format and easily understood language. The book can easily be read in a day or two, and it proved a painless way to better understand the acronyms and mathematical kung-fu I was going up against.
I am not a “numbers” individual, but after reading the book I was easily able to identify over $700 in junk fees and see that the broker illegally failed to reveal the YSP on my GFE. (If you do not understand what I just wrote, this book solves that.) I wish that Warren would release an updated version. Her work outlined what to look for and to beware of when choosing a loan and gave the reader a window of insight into the mortgage business, including both the villains and heroes, and how to distinguish between them. Because new lending laws have been passed since the book’s publication, it helps that Warren is easily available on the web (www.AskCarolynWarren.com) where she posts clarifying updates. Except for a number of spelling typos (which, if you’re like me, can be the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard), Warren’s book is a solid and informative work that deserves a new edition.