Pa. banks, homeowners examine oil and gas leases

Associated Press Modified: September 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm •  Published: September 2, 2012

PITTSBURGH (AP) — When Donald Yost tried to refinance his home about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh in January, he met a roadblock. It wasn't his credit score or the appraisal on the property — they were good.

Instead, it was the lease he has that allows a company to drill for gas about a mile underneath his property.

Yost says that in the middle of the application process a local bank told him they wouldn't finance anyone with a gas drilling lease. Yost has gotten a loan from another bank, and financial experts say such problems are rare.

But banks are taking a new look at how to assess the positive and negative impacts of the Marcellus Shale boom, which has brought drilling rigs to some communities that never had them before.

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