As a Real Estate Broker, I like to think I have all the answers. But everyday I learn something new to benefit my clients. Just now I was fortunate to watch a live broadcast of Secretary of Housing & Urban Development Shaun Donovan www.whitehouse.gov/refi as he answered questions homeowners across the country have on refinancing.
Since March 17, 2012, homeowners with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgages became eligible through HARP 2 to refinance, no matter their loan to value, and without an appraisal. If your lender sold your mortgage to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you're also covered. www.freddymac.com :Click on homeowner resources, www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup
Secretary Donovan added that homeowners with Fannie Mae or Freddy Mac mortgages who seek to refinance will no longer have the sword of doom hanging over their heads regarding their second lien holder. "All the banks will automatically subordinate their second mortgages and allow the first to go ahead."
Before the recession hit, many homes were purchased using adjustible rate mortgages (ARMs) and balloon mortgages to get the lowest initial interest rates. FHA was not even on most people's radar during those years.
Homeowners whose mortgage loans are not insured by FHA or owned by Fannie Mae or Freddy Mac have been up the creek until now. But according to Donovan, hope is on the horizon in the guise of pending legislation. Senator Diane Feinstein's bill -- The Expanding Refinancing Opportunities Act -- opens up refinancing to responsible home owners who have diligiently been paying their monthly nut but are underwater on loan to value. Donovan encourages these homeowners to write or tweet their congressperson to vote in favor of this bill.
Secretary Donovan also mentioned that these homeowners might qualify for refinancing through the Twenty-Five Billion National Mortgage Settlement agreed to by banks partially including CHASE, Bank of America, Allied, and City Bank. He suggested homeowners who fall into the above category contact their lender to find out if they will qualify to refinance. www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com
Lastly, Donovan cautioned homeowners against mortgage loan modification scams. "Never pay up front to a company or an attorney who claims to help ease your morgage payments." Donovan recommends phoning the Hope Hotline at 888-995-HOPE to get free counseling or got to www.HUD.com.
Please pass this information on to friends, business colleagues, neighbors, and family members who can benefit from this help. Send me your comments!