On Monday, President Obama announced an extraordinary initiative to help homeowners refinance. Since this has been all over the media this week, I thought I would clarify what is going on.
The program is designed to help people who have not been able to refinance to lower rates because the current value of their home has fallen. This program does not impact anyone who would normally qualify, nor are there any special rates for the program.
There are several qualifying criteria. First, your home loan must be more than 80% of your home value. Second, your existing loan needs to be current. Third, your current loan must be owned by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and must have been sold to them on or before May 31, 2009. You can check at these locations:
- For Fannie Mae: http://www.FannieMae.com/loanlookup or 800-7FANNIE (8 am to 8 pm ET).
- For Freddie Mac: https://ww3.FreddieMac.com/corporate or 800-FREDDIE (8 am to 8 pm ET).
There are unprecedented features of the program that are once-in-a-lifetime. For example, there is no limit to how high the loan-to-value ratio can go. In many cases, an appraisal may not be required.
The final details won’t be released until November 15th, and loans are unlikely to be available until January of 2012. However, I suspect this program will be heavily subscribed. If you or anyone you know want to be kept in the loop as more information becomes available stay tuned to TexasNoteCo.com