Millions of Americans owe more on their home than it is worth. You are certainly not alone in this situation.
Due to the downturn in the mortgage industry, many people are find themselves in the same situation. The most vulnerable people are those who bought their homes at the peak of the market, in 2005-2007. Whether they want to sell their home or wish to refinance and take advantage of today’s low rates, they are finding few available options.
Since your mortgage balance is more than the value of your home, you may have trouble obtaining a refinance loan. Most lenders are not willing to extend loans that exceed 100% of the value of the property. There are a few programs worth looking into that are specially aimed at the underwater homeowner that are worth applying for. (Editor’s Note: President Obama announced changes to the HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) that will help millions of underwater homeowners refinance at today’s low rates. The program will go into effect in late 2011.)
Bills.com makes it easy to compare mortgage offers and different loan types. Please visit the Bills.com Mortgage Refinance Quote page to find a loan that meets your needs.
An experienced mortgage professional can tell you whether you qualify for a loan. Also, if you do not qualify, he can explain you why and give you specific suggestions about steps to take to improve your chances of qualifying for a loan.
Six Options if Standard Refi Is Unattainable
If you do not qualify for a loan, then you should consider six options:
- Visit the Home Affordable Refinance Program Web site to see if you qualify for this program. In general, mortgage providers have been slow to embrace this program. However, homeowners who have convinced their mortgage companies to renegotiate the terms of their mortgages are seeing lower payments.
- Investigate the FHA Short Refinance program, which is designed to help homeowners with negative equity in their homes to refinance to a lower interest rate and reduced balance.
- Try and sell your house at the best possible price. Visit your nearest Assist-2-Sell Realtor and get your house on the market immediately. Sell it for what is left on your mortgage. You'll make no money, but you will be out from under the huge debt. By using an Assist-2-Sell Realtor, you do a lot of the work yourself that is involved in selling your home. They simply assist you and guide you through the maze. Find a place to rent for at least a year (maybe two) until you can get on your feet again.
- Contact your lender and discuss a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure. In a short sale, a lender accepts a lower amount than the balance of the loan and forgives the deficiency balance. A short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure must be approved by the lender.
- Rent a room. Consider renting a bedroom (and preferably a bath) of your house to a paying roommate. A lot of students and young professionals who work two jobs or who work and go to school at same time are looking for affordable housing. It could be a win-win situation for both parties. You get extra rental income, you have someone else pitch in for bills, and you can deduct all of your rental expenses from your taxes. Check Rent.com.
- Bankruptcy is the final option to consider if all others fail. See the Bills.com article Types of Bankruptcy to learn more about your options.
Try to avoid foreclosure. However, if you are a California resident facing foreclosure, you need to understand the state’s recourse and non-recourse rules so you know what to expect. Other states are non-recourse as well, but none use rules as intricate and complicated as California’s.
If you would like to read more about mortgage refinance loans, I encourage you to visit the Bills.com Home Refinance Resources page. If you enter your contact information in the Bills.com Savings Center at the right of the page, we can have several pre-screened mortgage brokers contact you to discuss the loan options available to you.
You should also visit the Bills.com Credit Solutions page to learn more about credit, credit reporting, and ways to improve your credit score, which should help you qualify for better loan terms.
I wish you the best of luck in finding a lender willing to work with you.
I hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.