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.


HARP – Help for Underwater Homeowners

Underwater? We Can Help

Harp 2.0 is a federal government program designed to help millions of underwater or near-underwater homeowners refinance into a fixed loan with a lower monthly payment. There are some key eligibility requirements to this program that need to be reviewed as this program hits full stride on March 17, 2012:

• Only loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are eligible. Underwater borrowers who have FHA, VA or other types of mortgages are not. Both companies’ websites — and — offer “look up” features that tell you whether they own your loan.

• Your mortgage must have been purchased or securitized by either agency no later than May 31, 2009, and must have an LTV ratio in excess of 80%.

• You must be current on your loan with no 30-day late payments during the six months preceding application and no more than one late payment during the last 12 months.

It must be noted that not all mortgage lenders are participating in this program.

Inlanta Mortgage COO, Jean Badciong stated that, “Inlanta Mortgage is proud to offer the HARP 2.0 program. This program is aimed at helping homeowners who have persevered through the economic downturn – yet still fell victim to plummeting home values and were not able to take advantage of historically low rates before now.”

By month’s end, most mortgage lenders are expected to “have their HARP 2.0 operations fully up and running,” said HUD Secretary Secretary Shaun Donovan in a February 28th Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs. Inlanta Mortgage is definitely among this group.

If you are interested in finding out if the HARP 2.0 program is right for you, please contact a licensed mortgage loan officer near you for more information.

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.

Inlanta Mortgage is a multi-state mortgage banker based out of Brookfield, Wisconsin. NMLS# 1016.


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