Posted at 9:54 PM on April 20, 2009
by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Housing & mortgages
When someone describes their current economic outlook as "bright" these days, it's worth a deeper look.
Chris Erickson of Minneapolis saw it as bright after recently discovering the family home's eligible for a Home Affordable Refinance that could save "a couple hundred dollars each month and tens of thousands of dollars in interest over the course of the loan."
It's part of the federal government's efforts to help eligible homeowners refinance their mortgages. Officials say as many as 9 million families may be eligible to refinance or modify their loans to an "affordable" payment. These are folks who because of the current market turmoil might not otherwise be able to refinance.
But we hadn't really come across anyone trying to make it work. Erickson, who's part of our Public Insight Network, said:
I heard about it from a friend who was told about it by his real estate agent. You deal with a mortgage broker or bank and there are typical closing costs. It is for people who have jobs and good credit but low equity.
The program allows you to refinance your mortgage or mortgages at the current rates with as little as a 95% loan to property value ratio and not have to pay PMI (private mortgage insurance).
You have to be current on your current mortgage and it has to be owned by one of the two big federally supported mortgage giants, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Think you may be eligible? Check here to find out.
Erickson will keep us posted on the process. I'll pass on any updates but it seems like a good deal if you can make it work.
Below are some other recent responses we got from Public Insight Network folks re: Housing and mortgage issues. Take a look then share a story with us.