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KenGraczak

Underwater Refinance

Saturday, May 5, 2012 - Article by: KenGraczak - AMEC Home Loans - NMLS 150953 - Equal Housing Lender - Message

I am starting to get lot of calls regarding the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) AKA The Underwater Mortgage. There is still a lot of confusion as to what lenders offer and what option homeowners have and I am going to try and clear it up with this blog.

The purpose of the Home Affordable Refinance Program is to help homeowners get a new, more affordable, more stable mortgage even if you owe more than what your home is worth (underwater).

They want you to take advantage of the great rates without being penalized because most homes are underwater.

So what are the basic criteria that you need to meet for HARP in order to be eligible?

Your loan must be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. How do you figure this out? Take the mailing address you have on your current mortgage statement and search the government sites here.

Fannie Mae Lookup: http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup

Freddie Mac Lookup: https://ww3.freddiemac.com/corporate

Now that you know your loan is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, then you need to check to see when you took that loan out. For the most part if you purchased your home (and you still have that same loan) or your refinanced your loan and closed prior to May 31, 2009 you fit the criteria. Finally, you must be current on your mortgage at the time of the refinance, with on time payments made the previous 12 months.

So, do you fit the criteria? Now what do you do?

You need to contact a loan officer (like me) and find out if the savings of refinance outweigh the cost of refinancing. Sounds simple right? Wrong! Unfortunately there are just a handful of lenders that are offering the full blown program, so you might start the process with someone and find out you can't even refinance due to having mortgage insurance or maybe that lender doesn't offer a value over 105%. That is why you need to call me. I have 1 or 2 banks that will allow the refinance even if you have or had mortgage insurance. I have the lenders that will allow no appraisals too. Minimal out of pocket expense! So what is the next step? Send me an e-mail at Ken@KenGraczak.com. In this e-mail send me the following things:

  • A good e-mail to mail proposals to
  • Your current address
  • What you think your credit score is?
  • Do you currently pay mortgage insurance? How Much?
  • What do you pay of taxes and insurance?
  • What is the balance and terms of your mortgages?
  • Is your home a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac home?
  • Do you just want a lower payment or do you want to go to a shorter term like a 20yr or 15yr?
  • Is the home a townhome, Single Family or Condo?
  • When did you take the loan out year and month?
  • Is this loan on an investment, Primary or vacation Home?

Within 24 business hours I will send you a proposal that will show you my rates and fees based on the information I provided. You can then make an educated decision based off my proposal if it is a good idea to move forward. If you decide to move forward at that point you will know exactly where I am with my rates and fees. If you have further questions about the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) please feel free to contact me at Ken@KenGraczak.com or 612-516-5626.

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