Underwater owners get promise of help

@Money April 11, 2012: 11:24 AM ET
refinance mortgage, underwater mortgages

(MONEY Magazine) -- If falling prices have left you with a mortgage bigger than your home's value, you may soon be able to refinance at a lower rate.

To settle complaints of foreclosure abuses, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, (WFC, Fortune 500) J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500), Citigroup, and Ally have agreed to at least $3 billion worth of refis for customers current on underwater mortgages still held by the banks. Guidance about who might qualify is maddeningly scarce, but two banks have published some criteria they'll use, and all the banks are fielding inquiries.

Housing: The one bailout American could really use

Other rays of hope: Mortgages held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, not part of the deal, might qualify for federal HARP refis speeded up by streamlined underwriting. Plus, a similar deal with nine more banks is in negotiations.

Hurdles to clear

You may get a refi if your mortgage rate is at least 5.25%, the balance exceeds 100% of the home's value, the principal is less than $730,000 and you closed before January 1, 2009.

Get more information about the $25 billion mortgage agreement.

Do you know a Money Hero? MONEY magazine is celebrating people, both famous and unsung, who have done extraordinary work to improve others' financial well-being. Nominate your Money Hero. To top of page


Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.08%4.24%
15 yr fixed3.19%3.23%
5/1 ARM3.36%3.46%
30 yr refi4.06%4.15%
15 yr refi3.17%3.17%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Find Homes for sale
  • Property Type
  • Find a home in:
    New York | Atlanta | Chicago | Los Angeles
    Washington D.C | Houston | Philadelphia | More options
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.