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WASHINGTON — The five federal bank, thrift and credit union regulatory agencies have published a new resource for consumers designed to help them make more informed choices when considering nontraditional mortgage loans. Interest-Only Mortgage Payments and Payment-Option ARMS–Are They for You? features a glossary of lending terms, a mortgage shopping worksheet, and a list of additional information sources. The information was compiled to help consumers, whether they’re buying a house or refinancing an existing mortgage, decide if an interest-only mortgage or an adjustable-rate mortgage with the option to make a minimum payment, is right for them. The publication stresses the importance of understanding key mortgage loan terms, warns of the risks consumers may face, and urges borrowers to be realistic about whether they can handle future payment increases. If consumers aren’t comfortable with the risks that are incurred from nontraditional mortgages, the publication suggests they ask about other mortgage products. The interagency information is available on the Web site of each agency–NCUA, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of Thrift Supervision. A PDF version is also provided so that consumer groups, financial institutions, agencies and other organizations can download the publication and print copies for distribution. It includes a space on the back panel for organizations to provide their own contact information.

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