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Dan Eveland

Think you can't refinance?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - Article by: Dan Eveland - Fairway Mortgage - Message

With rates extremely low again, refinancing your mortgage to reduce your payment or term may be on your mind. Okay, calling a loan officer and going through the mortgage refinance process may not be as fun as the Minnesota State Fair. Although, refinancing can help you afford more items on a stick though!

Number of reasons why you're not calling a Minnesota loan officer

1) I'm upside down / owe more than my home is worth.

2) It's going to cost a bunch out of pocket.

3) I've heard it's too tough to get a mortgage.

4) I'm going to waste the Loan Officers time.

And so on...

Some of these may be true, but everyone's situation in Minnesota is different. Truth is, you don't know until you consult a seasoned mortgage consultant like Dan Eveland of Waterstone Mortgage who can walk you through the refinance possibilities. Until you have a quick conversation you'll never know if you could have saved thousands.

Not much has changed in refinancing unless you have less than 20% equity. Many Minnesota homeowners may find themselves unsure if they qualify. Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) was started in 2009 by the US Government to assist homeowners with refinancing their home. This especially helps those that may be upside down or may not have the 20% equity in their home to avoid costly mortgage insurance. What HARP does, is allow the homeowner to continue to avoid mortgage insurance if your appraisal comes in with less than 20% equity. Most loan officers have access to these programs. You don't need to go directly to your current loan servicer to complete this. Usually you'll get better service and terms using someone in your own backyard.

There are 3 things to note in regards to the HARP program.

1) Your loan needs to be owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Your servicer may have nothing to do with the asset of your loan. See the links below and be sure to enter exactly the information they are requesting and don't abbreviate.

Loan Lookup Tool -

Fannie Mae - Loan Lookup

Freddie Mac - Loan Lookup

You can also contact your current loan servicer and ask them whether Fannie or Freddie owns your loan.

If you find that one of them does own your loan (most will be) then you may qualify for the HARP refinance programs available. If neither say they own it, it may be more difficult to refinance with little equity, but it's best to have a mortgage consultant try to research the ownership as well.

2) If you currently have mortgage insurance. You may still be eligible for a HARP refinance, but we will need to determine which mortgage insurance company insures your loan. The easiest way to find this out is to contact your current servicer. Once the mortgage insurance company name is discovered, your loan officer should be able to determine what guideline requirements that specific mortgage insurance company will require to follow when refinancing your first mortgage.

3) If you have a 2nd mortgage, you won't be able to wrap this loan into the new first mortgage when refinancing your first mortgage with the HARP program.

Okay, a lot of this fun mortgage refinance talk has probably bored you. That's why you have a professional to help you through the red tape. A quick conversation may save you thousands and a least put that question of "can I refinance" to bed. Contact Dan Eveland of Waterstone Mortgage 763-202-7600. Visit

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