Pride of Austin Capital Partners, LLC (A Regulation D Security and the only local lender that is a member of American Association of Private Lenders http://www.aaplonline.com)
First Capital Funding (A traditional hard money lender using fractionalized mortgages)
Jules Caplan (An individual)
Jay / Manana Funding (A group of inviduals)
There are others to be sure: Vince DiMare, Stallion Funding, Steamboat and others.
All of these listed are actual lenders and not just brokers pretending to be lenders. One way to check on a lender is to run a search in public records for liens filed against real properties in the lender's name. Real lenders will have liens recorded with the county clerk. However, in the case of a fractionalized mortgage the liens are files in the name of a trustee or in the names of the fractionalized investors so researching filed liens in the names of sum lenders might be tricky.
Sorry that you were taken by a "fee taker" but Marco's advice is inaccuate when dealing with private lenders. Most ask that third party fees be paid by the borrower during the underwriting process.
Kristee Leonard, Broker
The Leaders Realty, LLC