Real Estate Home Mortgages/HARP refi


Hi Mr. Rodenburg,

I have a question about a HARP refi.  I now have a 30 year fixed mortgage at 6.5 percent.  I owe 140000 on a property that is now worth about 90000.  I pay 170 per month for PMI.  I have good to excellent credit.  I have been told by two lenders that I qualify for a HARP refi; however the cost are in the 8000 range to bring my rate down into the 3.5 range.  Im being told my PMI payments are too high (see the lender explanation below).

  In order to be in compliance, your rate and APR must be below a certain threshold.  This lets the state and any auditors know that the company doing the loan is not a predatory lender and is giving you a good loan.  The APR includes all fees and costs associated with the loan, including your PMI.  The issue we are running into is that the PMI is so high (and therefore the APR is too high) that it is flagging the loan as a high-cost loan.  This is a big no-no for a mortgage because it does not comply with State rules and regulations.  The only way to get the APR lower is to bring down the rate, which in turn lowers the APR.

  With a Freddie Mac loan, the lowest rate that we have is 4.125.  In order to make this work you would have to buy the rate down to the low 3s.

Im looking to see what an independent expert has to say about this.  5000 would be tacked onto the loan, and I would pay 3000 up front.  It really seems excessive.  Im planning to stay in the home long term so Im inclined to go along.  Sorry for the lengthy question, but Id really value and appreciate your take on this.

Unfortunately most banks are only doing their own HARP loans (there was a brief period when we would do anyone else's HARP loans, but that is long since gone by the way side).
The figures seem high to me, but I don't know all the details and we do HARP and FHA Streamlines all the time. We try to roll in any closing costs into the HARP loan itself; but as I mentioned we only do HARP loans on existing clients (I work for PNC Mortgage, div of PNC Bank).

I would recommend you go back to the bank that holds your note; and if they are the ones telling you what you quoted above, I would suggest you ask to speak to a manager.

All the best to you,
- Al
About Real Estate Home Mortgages
This topic answers questions related to purchasing a home, owning a home, home ownership, mortgage education, mortgage applications, and mortgage needs whether buying a first home or refinancing a current loan. Issues related to home ownership, home equity, mortgage education, refinacing options, home improvment finacing, first time home loans, home equity loans, vactation home loans, and mortgages for investment homes are dealt with here also. Though not the primary focus of this topic, Home Equity Lines of Credits (HELOCS), reverse mortgages, and calculating home equity may also be asked. If you do not see your home mortgae, home finacing, or home equity question answered in this area then please ask a question here

Real Estate Home Mortgages

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Al Rodenburg


Risk Management Consultant. see: Identity Theft Solutions and Life Events Plans.


As a person who has worked with individuals who have experienced identity theft and major life events, I am pleased to be part of Harvard Risk Management Corporation.

CMPS Institute; Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce - Committee Chair; WCR - Womens Council of Realtors; HAR - Houston Association of Realtors; Houston Northwest Business Networking Group (founder); The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce

Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist (CMPS Institute) ; University of Illinois - at Chicago; Florida State University; Principia College; Lake Forest School of Management; Roosevelt University; Salt Lake CC

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