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Old 09-09-2012, 03:52 PM   #1
si-am
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Mortgage refi-- where to start?

We bought our house 5 years ago, right before the market crashed. Our value has fallen so much that we are completely underwater on our mortgage and I don't know if we'll ever have equity!

Apparently there's a program out there, HARP, that's supposed to help people like us refinance even if the homes are worth less than the current mortgage balance. To be clear, we are current on our payments and not at risk for foreclosure. We'd just like to take advantage of the lower interest rates out there right now.

We've gotten a couple of solicitations in the mail from various companies, but I don't know who is legit and who's not. Internet searches always bring up complaints AND accolades!

Any advice on where to get started? Anyone else been through a similar situation?

Thanks!
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:06 PM   #2
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HARP only applies to mortgages owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. If you have one of those, then you can do it, if not, then you are not eligible. Unfortunately, ours is not and we have found no other options. We are in the same boat; we have never missed a payment and don't plan on doing so. We would just like to refinance, but know that our home is not worth what our mortgage is. You can go to the website for HARP and get details on how to apply for a refinance if you are eligible.
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:11 PM   #3
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If you have good credit, try a credit union. We thought we were stuck unable to refi due to our LTV but they were able to help us out.
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by si-am
We bought our house 5 years ago, right before the market crashed. Our value has fallen so much that we are completely underwater on our mortgage and I don't know if we'll ever have equity!

Apparently there's a program out there, HARP, that's supposed to help people like us refinance even if the homes are worth less than the current mortgage balance. To be clear, we are current on our payments and not at risk for foreclosure. We'd just like to take advantage of the lower interest rates out there right now.

We've gotten a couple of solicitations in the mail from various companies, but I don't know who is legit and who's not. Internet searches always bring up complaints AND accolades!

Any advice on where to get started? Anyone else been through a similar situation?

Thanks!
We started with our lender but wound up going with another bank that was offering a lower rate (we went through a broker). We didn't qualify for HARP because our loan isn't through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac; we have an FHA loan, so we qualified for a streamline refi. We lowered our rate 2.75% and are saving $238 a month.

We got mailers from various companies all the time, but I didn't trust any of them.

Good luck!
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:22 PM   #5
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As a banker I strongly recommend that you stick with a bank. Try a local community bank as they have more flexibility and at the worst will be able to give you reliable information.
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:46 PM   #6
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Our mortgage is apparently owned by Fanny Mae. My husband has contacted our current lender but they never get back to us. I am wary of our own bank (Wells Fargo) because they weren't helpful when we tried to get our original mortgage. We might call up USAA and see if they can help.

It's such a big "purchase'" I'd hate to make a mistake somewhere!
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:05 PM   #7
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Plese ber wit me s my lptop is little wonky - nd missing letters so it looks like 4 yer old typed tis.

I just refinnced troug quickenlons - it ws pinless nd esy. 32 dys to close nd we dropped from 5.75 to 3.99 so it ws wort it to us. Good luck. Te customer service ws gret nd tey cme to us for te closing on Sturdy so we didnt ve to tke time off from work
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:07 PM   #8
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We've done our refi and it's taking nearly 3 months to go to closing. Everyone is jumping on the low rates and has things backed up with my lender. Still waiting.....
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raven69david View Post
We've done our refi and it's taking nearly 3 months to go to closing. Everyone is jumping on the low rates and has things backed up with my lender. Still waiting.....
ACK! Three months? We're at week six since our initial signing and were told it should be soon that we can close. I hope they aren't yanking our chain. A friend finalized hers in early August and it took her a month.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:32 AM   #10
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I filled out a form online (somewhere) to compare rates. Got a call from a couple of different lenders. Found 1 where all we had to pay was our appraisal. I have been through this before so knew all the paperwork they needed and had it in to them within a day. From start to closing it was about 30 days (they had told us 6-8 weeks also). We closed about a week ago. It was an online company and they sent a notary out to our house to do the closing. It was the easiest closing every. We locked in at 3% for 15 years.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HM View Post
ACK! Three months? We're at week six since our initial signing and were told it should be soon that we can close. I hope they aren't yanking our chain. A friend finalized hers in early August and it took her a month.
Ours took about that long -- six weeks -- so hopefully you will be fine.
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:02 PM   #12
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Ack! Just saw you mention USAA. Do NOT use them! We love them for banking, home and auto insurance, etc. but getting our mortgage through them was an absolute nightmare. I'm on my phone or I would be more specific, but we nearly didn't close on time. I literally had to call daily to make sure they were doing their part or we wouldn't have closed. I asked to be reassigned to a new loan processor repeatedly and the request was never granted. It was incredibly stressful. Then, 6 weeks after we closed, they were calling asking for information I had submitted during the loan process. By the end, our bank where our down payment came from told them they were overstepping their bounds in terms of what they could ask for (asking for my dad's bank statements because he was on the account with me where the down payment was stored). Absolutely insanely stressful, even after we closed, and I was VERY pregnant and closing out a school year (technically preparing to be out of work for 5+ months as a school psychologist). I thought I would have a nervous breakdown. Read reviews on THEIR website-it wasn't just me/us.
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:44 PM   #13
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Quicken loans, they are a very reputable company, with customer satisfaction awards. Some times they're able to help, and sometimes not. You should make a call to find out. No one on this board is able to say you will qualify or not. But Quicken Loans is my personal recommendation. Banks are certainly not the best or only option. Quicken Loans is just that Quick. They have the process down.
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:20 PM   #14
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Thanks for the warning about USAA (sounds like a nightmare) and Quicken!
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:38 PM   #15
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We used a local mortgage company and our refi took 30 days. It was easy. We have equity so it was very straightforward. We just wanted to lower our payments. We went from 5.125 to 3.75 on a 30 year. We decided to go with the 30 year to keep our payments down because DH was at risk of either losing his job or having his salary lowered. It now appears neither will happen. We will however send extra payments while we can to lower the length.

We used Wells Fargo a couple of years ago to refi our ARM to a fixed rate and that was a nightmare. They are very difficult to deal with and it took twice as long as they said it would.
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