by Dean Hartman on March 8, 2012

There have been a few developing (and some already existing) programs that are worth mentioning, as the newspaper headlines applaud the opportunity. With interest rates remaining at near historic lows for quite some time, many people have been unable to take advantage of these rates because of problems in securing a high enough appraised value.

To that end, here are a few thoughts to consider:

New FHA Streamline Announcement

HUD announced that they will be rolling back the insurance premiums on this program for loans closed prior to June 2009. The Upfront Premium (the one that is added into the loan amount) will be .01% and the annual premium (the one that is paid in the monthly payment) will be slashed to .55%. These cuts could reduce borrowers’ expenses drastically. This program can be done where the lender pays the closing costs – without an appraisal, income verification, or even a credit check. Most lenders will look for a good mortgage payment history.

The VA IRRL – (Interest Rate Reduction Loan)

For people with existing VA mortgages, this program allows reasonable closing costs to be added into the loan. There is no new appraisal required, nor is there an income calculation. Basically, as long as the veteran is getting a payment at least $50 lower, it is good to go. In some cases, veterans may choose to reduce the term of their loan (instead of a monthly savings). This can be done with some documents delivered to the lender.

HARP 2

This is a program for loans currently owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac wherein the house is underwater. Under this program, lenders may be able to reduce your interest rate despite your loan-to-value. Each mortgage investor is developing their own underwriting and risk criteria, but the good news is that people with good payment histories can take advantage of the great rates – even though their home has declined in value.

I gave you a very general overview of some loan products here today. There are many considerations (ex. closing costs and time you intend to stay in the home) and qualification items that will pertain to your individual circumstance. My intent was to heighten awareness and get you to reach out to your favorite mortgage professional and see if there is an opportunity for you.

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