Getting By: The Race to Refi | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Getting By: The Race to Refi 

For this week's installment of our bi-weekly column "Getting By: How Vermonters Are Surviving the Recession," I wrote about the current mortgage refinancing boom.

Interest rates have dropped dramatically over the past few months, and many Vermont homeowners have been scrambling to refinance and lower their monthly payments. But some borrowers have been unable to take advantage of the lower rates, either because of bad credit, or because they didn't have enough equity in their homes.

On Wednesday, the day the "Getting By" feature was published, the Obama Adminstration announced some new rules that will help some of those homeowners access the new, lower rates. "The guidelines for refinacing have been expanded to help some homeowners get their monthly payments reduced, and to get a more stable product," says Jodi Harrington of Opportunities Credit Union in Burlington.

According to Harrington, the new rules apply to people whose mortgages are backed by the government-sponsored enterprise Fannie Mae. For those borrowers, the Obama plan raises the required loan-to-value ratio to 105% for people looking to refinance. That's good news if you're stuck in a bad loan that now exceeds the value of your home.

The new regs also exempt some homeowners from having to secure costly private mortgage insurance.

So, is your mortgage backed by Fannie Mae? Harrington says it can be hard to tell. Even if you got your mortgage through Opportunities, it might be owned by Fannie Mae. "We still always service them," says Harrington, "so they wouldn't notice anything in their service that would indicate that Fannie Mae owned it." In other words, call your mortgage lender and ask who owns your loan. The new regs take effect on April 1.

Check out this article from the New York Times to see if you qualify — or call your mortgage lender.

Click below to download details of the plan.
Download 0904
Download 0905

One or more images has been removed from this article. For further information, contact web@sevendaysvt.com.
Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Tags: ,

About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Bio:
Deputy publisher Cathy Resmer is an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam, and compiles a weekly tech e-newsletter. She also oversees Seven Days' parenting publication, Kids VT, and created the Good Citizen Challenge, a youth civics initiative. Resmer began her career at Seven Days as a freelance writer in 2001. Hired... more

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation