Underwaters homes dramatically lower

Minneapolis, MN: Since the real estate market collapse, many home owners found themselves owning much more than their home was worth on the fair market. This created many problems, from the inability to sell and move, foreclosure from the inability to sell, and a hard time refinancing because of the lower value.

Homes for sale - real estate - MinnesotaThe housing market has been slowly climbing up the ladder, and according to a report from Zillow, the share of homes underwater has now dropped to under 20%

The same report stated that the underwater rate is currently about 19.4% of all homes. This is an improvement of about 3.9 million homes going back above water in 2013.  This is down from about 27.5%  of all homes underwater in late 2012.

As values increase, millions of people who may have had a pent up demand to move, but couldn’t, now suddenly find themselves once again above water.  More people are likely above water than actually realize, as many people rely on county tax statements for their value estimates. But tax value and fair market value, or what you could actually sell the home for, are many times two dramatically different numbers.

I advise anyone thinking of selling, to contact a local Real Estate Agent to get a fair market assessment of their home, and to contact a mortgage broker in their area to see what they would qualify for in a new home, or to see about refinancing.

The market is expected to slowly continue the climb towards a more balanced market, with the report estimating the negative equity of homes nationwide to drop even further, to just 17.2% by the end of 2014.


Can’t refinance – Maybe you can with HARP – Find out here

HARP 3.0 ???  Help for underwater home owners

St Paul, MN:  Virtually, all homeowners have lost value on their homes in recent years.  For many, this has created some challenges to refinancing and taking advantage of today’s super low mortgage interest rates.

There are a few programs with can help, depending on what type of mortgage loan you have today.  May people have successfully used program like HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program), the FHA Streamline Refinance, or even the VA Streamline refinance known as an IRRRL loan.

Sadly, not everyone fits the criteria.  Therefore Washington has been floating the idea of an expanded HARP 3 Refinance ProgramIt doesn’t exist yet, and may never exist…  But if it does, here is what it may look like:

There are some basic criteria for the #MyRefi or HARP 3 refinance program:

  • Current loan is NOT backed by FHA, USDA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac
  • Primary home only. No second homes or investment home
  • Loan less than $750,000.
  • On time mortgage payments for the past 6 months, with no more than one 30-day late payment in the past year.
  • Credit score above 580

This new HARP 3 refinance program proposal mirrors the current HARP 2.0 refinance loan program (possible no appraisal, less document, etc), except it would potentially also allow any underwater home owner, not just those who have a loan owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Try out the governments “Would I qualify for a refinance” below..


HARP 2. Underwater Refinance Program changes announced

FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Announce HARP Changes to Reach More Borrowers

Washington, DC – The Federal Housing Finance Agency, with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises), today announced a series of changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) in an effort to attract more eligible borrowers who can benefit from refinancing their home mortgage. The program enhancements were developed at FHFA’s direction with input from lenders, mortgage insurers and other industry participants.

“We know that there are many homeowners who are eligible to refinance under HARP and those are the borrowers we want to reach,” said FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco. “Building on the industry’s experience with HARP over the last two years, we have identified several changes that will make the program accessible to more borrowers with mortgages owned or guaranteed by the Enterprises.

Our goal in pursuing these changes is to create refinancing opportunities for these borrowers, while reducing risk for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and bringing a measure of stability to housing markets.” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have helped approximately 9 million families refinance into a lower cost or more sustainable mortgage product, approximately 10 percent of those via HARP.

HARP is unique in that it is the only refinance program that enables borrowers who owe more than their home is worth to take advantage of low interest rates and other refinancing benefits. This program will continue to be available to borrowers with loans sold to the Enterprises on or before May 31, 2009 with current loan-t0-value (LTV) ratios above 80 percent.

The new program enhancements address several other key aspects of HARP including:

  1. Eliminating certain risk-based fees for borrowers who refinance into shorter-term mortgages and lowering fees for other borrowers;
  2. Removing the current 125 percent LTV ceiling for fixed-rate mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac;
  3. Waiving certain representations and warranties that lenders commit to in making loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac;
  4. Eliminating the need for a new property appraisal where there is a reliable AVM (automated valuation model) estimate provided by the Enterprises; and
  5. Extending the end date for HARP until Dec. 31, 2013 for loans originally sold to the Enterprises on or before May 31, 2009.

An important element of these changes is the encouragement, through elimination of certain risk-based fees, for borrowers to utilize HARP to refinance into shorter-term mortgages. Borrowers who owe more on their house than the house is worth will be able to reduce the balance owed much faster if they take advantage of today’s low interest rates by shortening the term of their mortgage.

The Enterprises plan to issue guidance with operational details about the HARP changes to mortgage lenders and servicers by November 15.  Since industry participation in HARP is not mandatory, implementation schedules will vary as individual lenders, mortgage insurers and other market participants modify their processes.

Borrower Eligibility

In general, borrowers must meet the following criteria:

  1. The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
  2. The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
  3. The mortgage cannot have been refinanced under HARP previously unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March-May, 2009.
  4. The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%.
  5. The borrower must be current on the mortgage at the time of the refinance, with no late payment in the past six months and no more than one late payment in the past 12 months.

Homeowners can determine if they have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan by going to:

FANNIE MAE LOOKUP or calling 800-7FANNIE (8 am to 8 pm ET)

FREDDIE MAC LOOKUP or 800-FREDDIE (8 am to 8 pm ET)


Home lost value? Yes you can refinance

(edited: New rules took effect 10/24/2011 – Click here to view new rules)

HARP – Special Affordable Refinance Program

Has your home LOST VALUE?

THIS IS YOUR BAILOUT!

The funds the Obama Administration has made available for this program come from YOUR tax dollars. Take advantage of this program while it is still available!

Do you have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan and cannot refinance due to declining property values or a loss of income?

Would you like to reduce the cost of your monthly mortgage payments or move into a stable fixed rate mortgage? We may be able to assist through the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan.

A special HARP Affordable Program, which is designed to help up to 9 million American families refinance their loans to a payment that is affordable now, and into the future.

One of the initiatives in this program is aimed at helping responsible homeowners “refinance” their loans to take advantage of historically low interest rates.

Here are some common Questions and Answers about the Refinancing Initiative in the program.

Who is eligible?
You may be eligible, and we can assist you if:

  • You own and currently occupy a one- to four-unit home.
  • Your mortgage is owned or controlled by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
  • You are current on your mortgage payments.
  • The amount you owe on your first mortgage is about the same or slightly less than the current value of your house.
  • Your first mortgage is 105% or less
  • And, you have a stable income sufficient to support the new mortgage payments.

How do I know if my loan is owned or controlled by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?
Simply call or email me. I’ll help you determine if your mortgage is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

If I am delinquent on my mortgage, do I still qualify for the Refinance Initiative?
No. But the good news is, you may qualify for the Modification Initiative. Contact the company you currently make payment at to discuss your situation and review your options.

I have both a first and a second mortgage. Do I still qualify to refinance under Making Home Affordable?
Maybe. As long as the amount due on the first mortgage is less than 125% of the value of the property, borrowers with more than one mortgage may be eligible for the Refinance Initiative.

Will refinancing lower my payments?
That depends. If your interest rate is much higher than the current market rate, you would likely see an immediate reduction in your payment amount.

However, lowering your monthly payments isn’t the only criteria to think about. If you have an adjustable mortgage (ARM) or are paying interest only on your mortgage, you may not see your payment go down. BUT… you will be able to avoid future mortgage payment increases and may save a great deal over the life of the loan.

What are the terms of the refinance and what will the interest rate be?
All loans refinanced under the plan will have a 30- or 15- year term with a fixed interest rate. The interest rate will be based on market rates at the time of the refinance. Currently, interest rates are at historical lows, which makes this a good time to examine your refinancing options.

Will refinancing reduce the amount that I owe on my loan?
No. Refinancing will not reduce the principal amount you owe. However, refinancing should save you money by reducing the amount of interest that you repay over the life of the loan.

Can I get cash out to pay other debts?
No. Only transaction costs, such as the cost of an appraisal or title report may be included in the refinanced amount.

How do I apply for the Special HARP Refinance Initiative in MN or WI?
Call 651-70-LOAN1 (651-705-6261) or E-mail us today to discuss your specific situation and to examine your options. If this plan is right for you, we can begin working on your refinance immediately. You can help us help you by filling out out ONLINE APPLICATION. Remember, we lend in MN and WI only.

As part of the discussion, we may need to look at the following information:

  • Recent pay stubs to help determine your gross (before tax) household income.
  • Your most recent income tax return.
  • Information about any second mortgage on your house.
  • Account balances and minimum monthly payments due on all of your credit cards.
  • Account balances and monthly payments on all other debts, such as student loans and car loans.

As always, if you have any questions or would like to discuss how this may specifically impact you, I’d be happy to sit down with you. Just call or E-Mail me to set up an appointment.

If you are a homeowner who is current on your mortgage payments but unable to refinance to a lower interest rate because your home value has decreased, you may be able to refinance.

Do I qualify for an Affordable Refinance? Answer these questions:

  • Is your home your primary residence?
  • Do you have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan? If you don’t know contact:
  • Are you current on your mortgage payments?
    • “Current” means that you haven’t been more than 30-days late on your mortgage payment in the last 12 months.
  • Do you believe that the amount you owe on your first mortgage is about the same or less than the current value of your house?


HARP – Home Affordable Refinance Program for underwater

(edit: New guidelines issued 10/24/2011 – Click here for new rules)
HARP, the Home Affordable Refinance Program for underwater homeowners has been extended until June 2012

St Paul, MN: The Home Affordable Refinance Program was set to expire this June 30th, but has been extended one year until June 2012. The extension is great news, as HARP has been about the only success story of all the government programs attempting to stem the tide of foreclosures.

Basically if your existing first mortgage is held by Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac, and that first mortgage is LESS than 125% of today’s value, you may qualify and be able to take advantage of today’s low rates for refinancing.

To bring even more meat to the grill, Freddie Mac has also announced they WILL NOT add recently announce cost (rate) increases to this program.

Do you qualify for HARP? Check HERE