HAMP and HARP Options: VA Home Loans - Mobile Homes

by Peggy in Albuquerque, NM and by Marie in Belle Vernon, PA

Ask Kate about HAMP and HARP refinance options for VA home loans and mobile home financing: Peggy is having a difficult time finding affordable financing for disabled veterans. Her current underwater mortgage is not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Complicating her needs further, she has a 2nd mortgage in addition to the VA 1st mortgage.



Marie asks how she can get a more affordable payment for her mobile home since her lender does not participate in Making Home Affordable's HAMP modification program.

VA Home Loan Help for Disabled Veterans Not Under Fannie or Freddie

By Peggy C. from Albuquerque, NM
HARP Mortgage Help for Disabled Veterans Not Under Fannie or Freddie

Hi Kate,

My husband and I are responsible homeowners and never missed a mortgage payment. However, we find our neighborhood is declining in value.

We had a VA appraisal in Oct 2013 that came in at $132,000, putting slightly underwater and unable to refinance.

This May 2014, we had another VA appraisal and it came in at $110,000, so now we are REALLY underwater by approximately $23,700, again unable to refinance.

We have the 1st mortgage, a VA loan at 5.0% interest rate, and a second mortgage at a high interest rate of 9.75%. Our goal has been to refinance to pay off the 2nd mortgage.

So my question: Is there any help for us as responsible homeowners who are disabled veterans NOT eligible for HARP? I am seriously thinking of hiring a real estate attorney, as this is very overwhelming. Thank you.

Ask Kate at Get-Your-Best-Mortgage-Rate.com
Ask Kate answers: HARP Mortgage Help for Disabled Veterans Not Under Fannie or Freddie

Hi Peggy,

I agree! Refinancing a mortgage with a pristine payment record should not be that hard!

First off, compared to many other homeowners, you are not that far underwater. But I get it... try telling that to your lender.

HARP Refinance: 1st and 2nd Mortgages

Now a little background on the HARP program as it relates to 1st and 2nd mortgage financing. As of September of 2014, HARP is restricted to refinancing 1st mortgages, never 2nd mortgages. Additionally, a 2nd cannot be paid off with the HARP program by rolling it into the primary loan balance.
Read more about HARP Refinance Program for underwater mortgage.
So where does this leave you, a disabled veteran with a VA home loan and a 2nd mortgage?

VA- HAMP: Home Affordable Modification Program

An option other than HARP for obtaining a more affordable house payment is the VA Home Affordable Modification Program (VA-HAMP). This is not a refinance but a re-work of the terms of your current mortgage.

The main goal of HAMP modifications (conventional, FHA, VA, or USDA) is to lower the monthly house payment. But you may feel the long-term effect on paying off your loan balance is inferior to a HARP refinance. So read the fine print and make sure you are aware of all potential changes to your current mortgage terms.

VA Local Representatives

I also suggest you employ the help of a local VA representative. While it's true that Veteran's Affairs does not lend the funds for your mortgage (VA only guarantees a portion of your mortgage balance to the lender if you were to default on your obligation), they are a powerful ally to veterans seeking affordable financing.

So call the Veterans Affairs Regional Loan Center at 877-827-3702 to discuss the run around you are getting and ask how they can help you cut through the red tape.
For further options under Making Home Affordable (such as 2nd mortgage reductions), go to Special Edition Making Home Affordable Options.

More VA home loan and military mortgage help is found at Mortgage Relief and Military Hardship Resources and Home Mortgage Help for Disabled Veterans.
Best wishes,

Ask Kate

HAMP Modification and Mobile Homes

By Marie J. from Belle Vernon, PA
HAMP Modification and Mobile Homes

Hi Kate,

My lender is not participating in a modification program. Am I stuck?

We live in a manufactured home and can't seem to get anyone to do a refinance with us either because our home is a manufactured home or my lender does not participate in modification program.

Does this mean I am stuck and cannot get a refinance? Thank you

Ask Kate at Get-Your-Best-Mortgage-Rate.com
Ask Kate answers: HAMP Modification and Mobile Homes

Hi Marie,

Sadly, if your lender does not participate in the HAMP program, regardless of the type of home you own, you are not eligible to modify your mortgage. In other words, only the current lender can modify the existing terms of your home loan.

But other homeowners with manufactured homes should know that a manufactured home, in and of itself, does not prevent participation in HAMP modifications or HARP refinances. However, the home must be permanently affixed on land that you own, either free-and-clear or mortgaged, not rented land as in mobile home parks.

In other words, both the home and the land must be classified as real property under your state law.

Contact Washington DC and Your State Government

Similar to my advice to Peggy to contact her local VA rep, I suggest you seek help from your elected government officials. Let them know you are on the verge of losing your home and ask them for help getting an affordable payment on your home.

I have compiled a convenient list to make this task easier. Write your letter asking for help. Next, make several copies. Then go to How to Contact Washington DC and Your State Government and make your voice heard.

Best wishes,

Ask Kate
P.S. Eligible homeowners can use any lender to refinance through the HARP program! See blue box below with a link to easy-to-understand HARP guidelines.

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