The 14,000-member National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals has called for clear guidance from federal regulators regarding mortgage lending to undocumented immigrants."Immigrants represent an important segment in the future homebuyer market and play a vital role in our economy," said Frances Martinez Myers, NAHREP's chairman. "We believe all taxpaying workers should have equal access to homeownership." Many illegal immigrants use fake Social Security numbers but pay taxes using a nine-digit Income Tax Identification Number issued by the IRS. Some so-called "look-the-other-way" mortgage programs allow borrowers to use their ITINs instead of their Social Security numbers to obtain income verifications. But many such programs have been halted until lawmakers decide what to do with the nation's illegals. According to a recent study by the Pew Hispanic Institute, Washington, D.C., roughly 7.2 million illegals are at work in America. In 2004, NAHREP issued a report that said if undocumented immigrants had access to homeownership, it would generate $44 billion in new mortgage originations.

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