Reader: I succeeded in refinancing with BofA!by Tim Manni
I try to be as journalistic as possible on this blog. One of the ways I strive to do so is by presenting both sides of the story. We’ve read comments and published posts that call out the many frustrations borrowers have experience with Bank of America when trying to either modify or refinance their loans. Up to this point, not one comment on this blog or one news article that I’ve read sang the praises of the country’s largest lender. Like I said…until now.
One of our readers, “Steve,” recently shared a comment with us that said his BofA refi was “the best New Year’s present [he] ever had in [his] life.” Here’s Steve’s story:
My current servicer, BofA, approved my [Making Home Affordable] HARP today at 4.5% for 30 years. My old rate was 5.8% for 30 years. It was funded today. Loan/escrow closed!!!
As a background, I have been the owner of a single-family residence in Los Angeles County since May 2008. Fannie Mae is the investor. I never missed payments or property tax. As far as I know, no approval was required since Fannie Mae had their own way of calculating the value of the home per my loan offer. I owed approximately $320,000. The value of home is $365,000. I signed the application in end of October. I paid a $450 application fee. If denied, I was going to get my money back. If approved, the application fee would be credited toward the closing costs. It took them only two months. The closing cost came approximately to $2,500 [which] was added to the loan. So all I paid [upfront] was $450.
What I did differently from other people, I guess, is that I pushed everyone involved in the process which included the loan officer, processor, closing agent and closing specialist. I literally called them twice a week and stressed how important this was and that I wouldn’t be able to make any payment if this doesn’t go through. Maybe I got lucky with good people, but the loan officer I was dealing with specializes in MHA HARP and was very knowledgeable in this program. He pretty [much] had answers to all my concerns. As far as I know, your debt to income ratio doesn’t matter. Per the loan officer, as long as you work, you should qualify. It’s all about if you are currently working or not.
Don’t lose hope. It is possible. This is the best New Year’s present I’ve ever had in my life.
While I don’t doubt that Steve’s diligent persistence in communicating with BofA helped to push his refinance along, there are other factors which I believe helped him succeed when so many others have failed. While we can’t fully understand Steve’s entire situation just based on the comments he left, judging by the loan figures he has quoted above, it’s easy to see that Steve’s loan is NOT underwater.
In my experience — the articles I have read, the readers I have talked to — getting a HARP refinance is especially difficult if you’re underwater, even though the program technically qualifies borrowers with loan-to-value ratios of up to 125 percent. (For more on this, be sure to read our post “Are the wrong borrowers refinancing through HARP?“)
We want to learn more about your refinance and modification experiences. Have they been marred by trials and tribulations, or do you have a story of success? Either way, we’d love to hear your story — please feel free to leave a comment below.