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debtfreein18

HARP refinance...what do I need to know?

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Hi! Haven't been here in a looong time. With this board's help I was able to fend off a bogus lawsuit on my husband's behalf, write a few letters and between that and running out the clock on a few things, his credit is now in the high 600's/low 700's.

Now wer are turning our attention to our mortgage. Background is we bought in '05 for $186k and put 20% down. Post-melt down it's worth around $70k and we still owe around $130k. Interest rate is 5.75%. BoA has the loan (they got it when they bought Countrywide a few years ago).

We have never been late, not even once. We have a great income ($100k a year gross) and our only debt besides the house is a $16k car note, also never paid late. My credit score is mid 700's, DH as I mentioned is high 600's/low 700's. Never filed BK, never had a repo, DH does have a few very old paid judgements that are a year or two from falling off his reports.

We can afford the mortgage payment as it is, so this isn't hardship thing. I just want to save on interest and pay it off sooner as we have 23 years left on a 30 year loan, I want to refinance to a 10 or 15 year. Idealy 10 year but if we can't get approved for that then 15 is fine, though we'd still pay it down on a 10 year schedule.

So I've been kicking around the idea of a refinance with rates so low and was planning on calling BoA in November to see what my options might be, but they called me out of the blue a few days ago and said we qualified under HARP. I had no time to talk as he called me at work in the middle of the day but from the quick conversation he stated that they could offer a rate "in the mid 4's" and no appraisal was needed under HARP. That's as far as we got.

So I plan to call back in the next week or two but before I do I wanted to get some unbiased info on HARP refinances. Is there anything I need to be aware of, questions I should ask etc.? Are their pittfalls or special advantages (other than no appraisal and being upside down not being an issue) I need to know about?

Another issue, I'm the only one on the house and loan, we bought just before we got married and I had all the downpayment money from the sale of my condo. Between that, not being married, and DH's credit being in the toilet I just bought it on my own. Can he be added to the refiance under HARP (I'd like him to be)? Are we allowed to go from a 30 year to a 10 or 15? I suspect interest rates under HARP are higher than average since there is basicly no equity in the home but is mid 4's about right or should I shop around? We have plenty of cash to pay closing costs but obviously I don't want to pay more than necessary, what's a good closing cost quote (the last few times I've gone through pruchase/refinace costs were right around $2500 if that tells you anything).

I just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing. As I said we can make our payments just fine, to the point where we want to increase it by $500 a month just to pay it off 13 years ahead of schedule, so we don't HAVE to refinance, it would just be nice to save a little bit more interest if we can.

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