Unlikely Mortgage Winner – Illegal-Immigrant Loans

Although I’m not a fan of the unscrupulous practices of lending institutions at least I learned something today. Apparently the IRS issues a number to foreigners not eligible for a Social Security number. This leads me to believe that very few illegal immigrants escape paying an income tax. Between those that have this IRS issued number and those that have fake Social Security cards I’d imagine most illegal immigrants are contributing quite a bit to our tax base. Of course the argument that they don’t pay taxes is one of the biggest the anti-immigrant crowd uses.

Unlikely Mortgage Winner – Full Story from The Wall Street Journal
Illegal-Immigrant Loans

By MIRIAM JORDAN
October 9, 2007

Known as ITIN mortgages because applicants must have an individual taxpayer identification number, the fixed-rate loans are designed for immigrants who can prove they are creditworthy and pay taxes even though they don’t have legal permanent residency in the U.S.

Undocumented workers normally use an invalid Social Security number to obtain work. But they can pay taxes with a nine-digit alternative number that the Internal Revenue Service started issuing in 1997 to foreigners who aren’t eligible for a Social Security number.

The objective is to encourage all workers in the U.S. to file an income-tax return, regardless of immigration status. Banks, which normally use Social Security numbers to report income to the government, began accepting the individual taxpayer identification number from mortgage applicants in 2000.

Information on the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number from IRS.gov.

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