Mortgage refi-- where to start?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by si-am, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. si-am

    si-am DIS Veteran

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    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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  3. uk_wildcat

    uk_wildcat Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  4. mrsklamc

    mrsklamc <font color=blue>I apologize in advance, but what

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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.
     
  5. Elleshoodat

    Elleshoodat DIS Veteran

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    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!
     
  6. Sweettears

    Sweettears 50 years of Disney and counting

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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.
     
  7. si-am

    si-am DIS Veteran

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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!
     
  8. Teacup53

    Teacup53 Earning My Ears

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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
     
  9. raven69david

    raven69david I am a Superuser. Got a problem with that?!

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    We've done our refi and it's taking nearly 3 months to go to closing. :scared: Everyone is jumping on the low rates and has things backed up with my lender. Still waiting.....:hourglass
     
  10. HM

    HM My tag from the Tag Fairy is now too long to use.

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    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.
     
  11. LynnTH

    LynnTH DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  12. Elleshoodat

    Elleshoodat DIS Veteran

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    Ours took about that long -- six weeks -- so hopefully you will be fine.
     
  13. WDWAurora

    WDWAurora <font color=teal>I may not be Peter's Tink, but I'

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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.
     
  14. CluelessDisFan

    CluelessDisFan DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  15. si-am

    si-am DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the warning about USAA (sounds like a nightmare) and Quicken!
     
  16. bdcp

    bdcp DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  17. ljcraw555

    ljcraw555 DIS Veteran

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    Does anyone know if you can streamline refinance your FHA loan through any bank or only the bank that currently has your loan?
     
  18. bdcp

    bdcp DIS Veteran

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    You can refi through another company. My son did a streamline refi on his FHA through through a different company than he had his original with. He lowered his payments and his only out of pocket was about $150. The mortgage company gave a lender credit that covered almost all of his closing costs. With a streamline you cannot change the balance of your loan.
     
  19. JDUCKY

    JDUCKY Local Yocal

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    just be aware of the guarantee fees and PMI on an FHA refi. That can eat up $100-200/mo of savings from a lower interest rate.

    I'm doing a USDA pilot program streamline refi and they added 0.4% PMI effective Oct 1 which will eat up about $90/mo of the savings from dropping our interest from 5.25% to 3.25% but it's still very worth it! :)
     
  20. DisneyEater

    DisneyEater Mouseketeer

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    HARP is a government program so you could call any bank you want to refi and they should be able to do it. I would deal directly with a lender to avoid any type of broker fees.
     
  21. HM

    HM My tag from the Tag Fairy is now too long to use.

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    We aren't eligible for HARP, but that didn't stop every bank or mortgage company from sending us a letter about calling them about it. It's unbelievable how many offers we've been sent this year. I wondered if other people were getting a lot too.

    Still no word from our lender about our closing and we're at 7 weeks now. Ugh.
     

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