Following Secretary Shawn Donovan's refinancing webinar, I received a call from Richard Kimball, Illinois State Manager for Crosscountry Mortgage www.crosscountryIl.com offering to clarify some of the points discussed.
According to Kimball, HARP 2 www.freddiemac.com/avoidforeclosure/participatinglenderslist.html is a second attempt by the government to enable homeowners with Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac loans to refinance, no matter the loan to value ratio. The mortgage banker says "The government will waive the standard reps and warrants from the originating lenders...but while many lenders embrace the new rules for their own loans, they refuse to be as aggressive with loans from other companies."
Pending legislation from Senator Feinstein would offer a program to refinance underwater loans not insured by FHA or owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Kimball "applauds the effort, however doubts its reality." "In the marketplace today when lenders are barely taking back FHA and conventional loans that are underwater, I do not see them opening their doors to loans that are outside that box."
On last Friday's webinar, Secretary Donovan mentioned the $25 billion dollar National Mortgage Settlement as an option for home owners who have non-Fannie Mae or Freddy Mac loans with Allied, Citibank, Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. Homeowners can go to www.hud.gov/ or phone the HOPE Hotline at 888-995-HOPE to get their questions answered.
If your own lender does not give you a satisfactory response, Kimball suggests contacting a mortgage banker for assistance. "Mortgage bankers work with many, many lenders who may be able to help."
Just today, the White House sent out an e-blast to non-Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac homeowners who are underwater, asking them to share their own experiences. Go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/why-refi