As a high-volume mortgage broker in Los Angeles, I was both puzzled and disappointed after reading the July 18 article by Kenneth Harney ("Move Toward Eliminating PMI").
Doesn't anybody do research anymore? "Self-insured" loans have been around for years and are offered by many local and national lenders (Countrywide, PHH and Chase, to name just a few).
I have nothing against Washington Mutual; I do a good deal of business with the company and it offers some excellent loan programs. However, its "Advantage 90" is hardly a new idea. I have helped many of my clients avoid the waste of PMI by counseling them about self-insured loans as well as other options for getting around PMI, such as 80-10-10 or 80-15-5 loans.
The best thing a prospective buyer can do is get a good referral from a friend or colleague for a reliable and knowledgeable lender who can guide him through the increasingly complex maze of home financing.
Perhaps Harney should do the same when he prepares his next article.