Refinancing Traps

shutterstock_112335221Refinancing Traps

Refinancing can be tricky, but a little preparation before starting the process goes a long way in avoiding mishaps along the way. Here are some common traps that many run into while refinancing their homes and ways you can avoid falling into the same traps.

 

The automatic payment trap

Did you know it can take up to two weeks to have automatic payments canceled? If your payments are made this way, be sure to turn it off before closing. You don’t want to pay for the same month twice!

The missed or late payment trap

Believe it or not, lots of people think they don’t have to keep making payments once they apply to refinance. Missing a payment could damage your credit and even preclude closing. Just be careful regarding your very last payment, as it should be made in time to assure it’s credited toward your payoff balance.

The tax escrow trap

The funds in any existing escrow account will typically be held until after the current loan is paid off. Since this money will not be available at closing, you need to be able to establish a new escrow account and/or pay any upcoming taxes from savings or the new loan proceeds.

The insufficient funds trap

The tax escrow trap can contribute to this, and so, too, can many other factors. For example, a low appraised value could limit your loan amount. As many loans are set up to cover all closing and escrow funds, it’s important to know that any necessary or unexpected adjustment could change the cash to close requirements accordingly.

 

We want you to be aware of these potential pitfalls before they have a chance to occur. Of course, we will work with you and on your behalf to prevent and avoid them.

 

Looking to start the refinance process? Find your local Inlanta loan officer here. Already going through the refinancing process? Reach out to your Inlanta representative whenever you have questions, and we’ll be happy to help.

 

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.

 

What is HARP?

What is HARP?

What is HARP?

If you’re not behind on your mortgage payments but have been unable to get traditional refinancing because the value of your home has declined, you may be eligible to refinance through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). HARP is designed to help you get a new, more affordable, more stable mortgage. HARP refinance loans require a loan application and underwriting process, and refinance fees will apply.

HARP Eligibility

You may be eligible for HARP if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
  • The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
  • 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.
  • The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%.
  • The borrower must be current on the mortgage at the time of the refinance, with a good payment history in the past 12 months.

Refinance with HARP

  • Determine whether your mortgage is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac by using their respective Loan Lookup Tools.
  • Use our branch locator to contact a licensed Inlanta Mortgage loan officer near you.

About Inlanta Mortgage – Celebrating 20 Years

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary, Inlanta Mortgage is a growing mortgage banking firm committed to quality mortgage lending, ethical operations and strong customer service.

Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as a full suite of jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs. Review Inlanta’s mortgage loan programs here.

Inlanta Mortgage is a multi-state mortgage banker based out of Brookfield, Wisconsin. NMLS #1016. Inlanta Mortgage is proud to be named to the Scotsman Guide Top Mortgage Lenders 2012 list and to be among the Top 100 Mortgage Banking Companies in America in 2012 and Fastest Growing Milwaukee-Area Firms.

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have adopted changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) and you may be eligible to take advantage of these changes. If your mortgage is owned or guaranteed by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, you may be eligible to refinance your mortgage under the enhanced and expanded provisions of HARP. You can determine whether your mortgage is owned by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae by checking the following websites: www.freddiemac.com/mymortgage or http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup/.

HARP Mortgage Refinancing

HARP - Refinace Program

HARP Program Extended

Last week, the FHFA directed Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to extend the HARP program for another two years. The program was set to expire for all mortgage applications received on or after December 31, 2013. The new cutoff date will be for applications with received dates by December 31, 2015.

What is HARP?

If you’re not behind on your mortgage payments but have been unable to get traditional refinancing because the value of your home has declined, you may be eligible to refinance through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). HARP is designed to help you get a new, more affordable, more stable mortgage. HARP refinance loans require a loan application and underwriting process, and refinance fees will apply.

HARP Eligibility

You may be eligible for HARP if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
  • The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
  • 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.
  • The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%.
  • The borrower must be current on the mortgage at the time of the refinance, with a good payment history in the past 12 months.

Refinance with HARP

  • Determine whether your mortgage is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac by visiting their respective Loan Lookup Tools.
  • Use our branch locator to contact a licensed Inlanta Mortgage loan officer near you. Inlanta is approved by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Inlanta Mortgage is proudly celebrating twenty years in business. Learn more about Inlanta’s twenty year history here.

Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as a full suite of jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is fully delegated HUD-FHA including FHA 203K, VA, and USDA approved. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs. Review Inlanta’s mortgage loan programs here.

Required HARP Disclosures – Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have adopted changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) and you may be eligible to take advantage of these changes.If your mortgage is owned or guaranteed by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, you may be eligible to refinance your mortgage under the enhanced and expanded provisions of HARP.”You can determine whether your mortgage is owned by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae by checking the following websites: www.freddiemac.com/mymortgage/ or http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup/.  

 

Am I eligible for the the Home Affordable Refinance Program a.k.a. HARP?

Everyone seems to be asking this question lately. Last month, the Federal Home Finance Agency or FHFA announced HARP 2.0…and we patiently awaited more details on this variation of the ‘Making Home Affordable’ program designed to help those overwhelmed with underwater mortgages. On November 15th, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac confirmed the program details. Here is a brief overview of the program eligibility requirements:

  • Your loan must be backed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. Don’t know? Use these links to find out:
  • Fannie Mae Loan Lookup
  • Freddie Mac Loan Lookup
  • Your mortgage loan must have been originated prior to June 1, 2009
  • You must be current on your mortgage loan (no late payments in last 6 months)
  • Your current loan-to-value (LTV) must exceed 80%.
  • Your HARP refinances are limited to your area’s conforming limits.
  • Conforming limits may vary from location to location but in most cases are $417,000.
  • Cash out refinances are not available with HARP – only rate and term finances are allowable.
  • Mortgage rates for HARP are similar to traditional refinancing and will be determined by your lender.
  • Homeowners may only utilize the HARP program once per home – if you have already refinanced under this program you are ineligible

This program is not designed to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, it is strictly designed to assist homeowners who have watched their home values deteriorate during the recent housing crisis. Although it may be a bit before we accept an application through the HARP program as we are still adapting our systems to accommodate the program details – Inlanta Mortgage currently offers the DU Refi Plus and Open Access programs to assist homeowners with underwater mortgages.

For more information on the Home Affordable Refinance Program contact a licensed Inlanta Mortgage loan consultant. Find a mortgage loan consultant near you.

Inlanta Mortgage operates in fourteen states including Wisconsin, Illinois*, Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota**, Florida, Massachusetts, Arizona, Kentucky, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado and North Dakota. Based out of Brookfield, Wisconsin Inlanta Mortgage has been in business since 1993 and offers a variety of loan programs in addition to refinances including FHA, USDA, FHA 203K, Reverse Mortgages, Conventional and Purchase Loans, and VA Mortgages. For more details on mortgage loan programs available through Inlanta Mortgage click here.

*An Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee #MB.0006190, Inlanta Mortgage is regulated by the State of Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Banking located at 122 S Michigan Ave, Suite 1900, Chicago IL 60603. Phone #312-793-1409.

**Minnesota License – Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. # MO 20373610 “Not an offer to enter into an interest rate lock-in agreement under Minnesota law.”

Inlanta Mortgage NMLS #1016

HARP 2.0 Questions & Answers

Underwater Homes

In a previous blog post, we discussed the White House’s recently announced revisions to the Home Affordable Refinance Program – also known as HARP. To further clarify HARP we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers about this program.

Q: What is HARP?

A: HARP stands for the Home Affordable Refinance Program.  HARP was rolled out in 2009 to help borrowers who were current on their mortgage payments, had loans backed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and wanted to refinance but didn’t have enough equity in their homes to do so because the value of the home had declined.

The HARP program is designed to help qualifying homeowners refinance into a new mortgage at current (lower) interest rates.  A HARP loan is a new loan, not a modification of your current loan.

Q: What is HARP 2.0?

A: Several changes have been made to the program to help more homeowners qualify for the refinance opportunity and help lenders manage the refinance process more efficiently. The program is intended for homeowners who are “underwater” – meaning their LTV (Loan-To-Value) is more than 100%.  That means the amount of your current mortgage is MORE than the value of your home, and you may be eligible to explore refinancing your home under HARP.

Example:  You owe $130,000 on your mortgage (this is your Loan Amount) Yet the value of your home is $100,000 (this is the current value of your home) Your LTV is $130% (you owe $30,000 more than your home is currently worth).

Q: How do I know if my loan qualifies for the HARP program?

A: There are some basic guidelines to qualifying for HARP:

• You must have originated your loan before May 31, 2009
• Your loan must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
• You must be current on your mortgage payments, and have not made a payment more than 30 days late during the past year
• You must demonstrate the ability to continue making payments on the loan (demonstrate that you have a job or other consistent source of income)
• You must owe more on your mortgage than your home is worth (see LTV definition above)
• A refinance must help the affordability or stability of the loan (this means the refinance must make the loan either more affordable, or make the payments more consistent over time

Q: If I have already refinanced under HARP, can I refinance under the program again to take advantage of even lower interest rates?

A: Unfortunately, no.  Once you have refinanced your home under HARP, you will not have another chance to refinance under the program.

Q: How much will it cost to refinance under HARP?

A:
While the costs to refinance have changed under the new HARP guidelines, each borrower is different and you will need to contact an Inlanta Mortgage loan officer to get specific information about your situation. To request a no obligation free consultation with a licensed Inlanta Mortgage loan officer click here.

Q: What kind of loan can I refinance into?
A: You must be prepared to refinance into a 30-year fixed rate loan.

Q: When can I apply for refinancing under the HARP program?
A: Final information and details are expected to be announced in mid-November and some servicers expect to begin accepting applications under the new HARP program in early December.  You should check with your Inlanta Mortgage loan officer in November to find out more specifics.  The deadline to apply for HARP has been extended through 2013

Q: Are second homes eligible for HARP?
A: No. The HARP program is only available for your primary residence.

Q: What if I have a second mortgage on my home?
A: Borrowers with a second mortgage (example:  A Home Equity Loan or a balance on their Home Equity Line of Credit) may be able to participate in HARP, your Inlanta Mortgage loan officer should be able to help you determine if your second mortgage owner will agree to “re-subordinate” that loan before you can refinance the first mortgage.

Q: How do I know if Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac own or guarantee my loan?
A: You can use the links below to help determine if Freddie or Fannie own or guarantee your loan.
http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup/
http://www.freddiemac.com/mymortgage/

Q: Who can help me with a HARP Loan?
A: Please contact us for more Information about refinancing with a HARP loan.

Although program details have yet to be announced, Inlanta Mortgage loan officers are anxiously awaiting forthcoming announcements that will help them better serve you.

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have adopted changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) and you may be eligible to take advantage of these changes. If your mortgage is owned or guaranteed by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, you may be eligible to refinance your mortgage under the enhanced and expanded provisions of HARP. You can determine whether your mortgage is owned by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae by checking the following websites: www.freddiemac.com/mymortgage or http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup/.

To find an Inlanta Mortgage loan officer near you, click here.