'I'm trapped in a high-rate mortgage'

Record-low mortgage rates of 3% to 4% have been out of reach for these homeowners. Despite having good credit and making their payments on time, they're stuck paying 6% or more on their loans.

Denied twice and feeling hopeless

  • Name: Arturo and Leigh Candelas
  • Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Interest rate: 5.88%

The Candelas have tried several times to reduce the almost 6% rate they're paying on their mortgage.

Twice they attempted to refinance, in 2009 and 2010, but their home's value had fallen by so much -- from $650,000 to $423,000 -- that the bank denied their requests.

"To say that we're frustrated would be an understatement," said Leigh Candelas, who is a stay-at-home mom. "We've never been late on our mortgage payments and naively went through the refi process twice only to pay the appraisal fees for no reason."

Last December, they applied for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), but they didn't qualify because their loan wasn't backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. (It's owned by Wells Fargo instead).

Since their last attempt to refinance, the Candelas' home's value has dropped even further -- to $395,000, according to a Wells Fargo rep -- and they still owe $430,000. "We already knew [a refinance won't] work because our loan-to-value is even worse than [it was]," said Candelas.

- Last updated August 29 2012 12:55 PM ET

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