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Mortgage experts concerned about sub-prime repeat

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The jump in Valley home prices and high demand for homes has some mortgage experts concerned.

They say sub-prime mortgages appear to be making a comeback, and that could lead to a repeat of America's 2008 housing disaster. Valley Mortgage expert Dean Wegner said things are okay... for now.

"The way that lending is now, it's so conservative," said Wegner. "Anyone that's buying a house now, deserves that house. They are more than qualified to make those monthly payments."

But, Wegner said he is concerned.

"If you see new programs handing loans to people that can't prove their income, or for some reason normally can't get a loan through conventional means... if you see these people enter into the market and spike home prices even further, you could definitely see another problem on the horizon," Wegner said.

And he IS seeing those programs start to become available.

"They come in droves," said Wegner. "Now we're seeing one or two a month appear. By the end of the year, we could see another dozen of these products. Who knows what that could lead to."

Wegner believes banks will make loans with sub-prime mortgages if they are confident they can get their money back. He fears that if banks and mortgage companies aren't careful, we could see a repeat of the housing bubble and the economic problems of a few years ago.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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