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Illegal immigrants – more likely to pay their mortgages

Home loans held by illegal immigrants in California and across the nation generally have had fewer delinquencies than similar loans held by U.S. citizens, in part because of stricter lending requirements, according to banks, insurers and Realtors.

More than 12,000 home loans were issued in recent years through a special program that relies on government-issued taxpayer identification numbers instead of Social Security numbers, according to the association. The identification numbers, known as ITINs, were designed for foreign-born residents living legally in the U.S. but are widely acknowledged to be used primarily by illegal immigrants.

Many of the mortgages nationwide came out of a partnership between Citibank and Acorn Housing, a nonprofit group that helps the poor. Citibank said the taxpayer identification loans have some of the lowest delinquency rates among all affordable-lending programs.

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