Shortly after her mother passed away five years ago, Kristy Robinette bought a home with her father, Ronald Schiller, for $189,000.
They love the place, but its value has plummeted to $120,000 -- and they still owe $178,000. Even worse: the mortgage is carrying a sky-high 7% rate.
For three years now, they've been trying to refinance but they owe too much to meet Freddie Mac's guidelines. And since they haven't fallen behind on payments, they don't qualify for a modification under the government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
Their mortgage servicer,Ocwen Financial, told them to either short sell or walk away, according toRobinette. "My dad is 74 years old and worked the transmission line at Ford Motor. He's never missed a payment: It would kill him to walk away," she said.
Recently, they tried to refinance through the Home Affordable Refinancing Program (HARP), a government program that helps underwater borrowers who are current on their payments. After they met with Ocwen about applying for the program, however, they didn't hear back for weeks.
"I know they are bombarded, but I feel as if those of us that have pretty good credit are being shoved to the back of the line," she said.
Eventually, she received a letter from Ocwen offering to review their options, but it's still not clear if they will be able to refinance. Ocwen did not respond to requests for comment from CNNMoney.