Loan Servicing Transfer vs. Refinancing

From the Arizona Mortgage Guru mailbag:

Question: Well, we just received a notice that IndyMac, who we have a second mortgage with, closed it’s doors. They kindly sent us a notice that they are working with Wells Fargo to offer help refinancing our loan. My concern is this, if we have to go through a “regular” refinance, there is no way we would qualify with our credit being in the dumps. It’s obvious they aren’t transferring our loan to Wells Fargo, but just offering help to refinance. So I’m concerned. I don’t see how they can do that. When calling the Wells Fargo number they provided, I couldn’t get through to anyone. I’ll try again tomorrow. I would appreciate any advice.

Thanks,

Jen

Dear Jen,

Sorry to hear of the difficult situation you’re facing. Hang in there. Each bank has different rules to an extent on how they are dealing with the current troubles so I can’t comment on exactly what you’re facing. However,  here is what I know:

1. A bank can not force you to refinance in the sense that they can not call back a loan unless you’ve violated some very serious terms. Even then it would have to be pretty bad. This is a rule dating back to the aftermath of the Great Depression. If banks could call back mortgages – in today’s climate – 50-60% of folks would lose their homes – since the vast majority are not in a position to pay back their home loans on short notice without selling the house.

2. Banks can sell the servicing rights – in which case the terms of the loans remain unchanged but only the loan is transferred to a different lender. This doesn’t require you to refinance.

So, with that – I am not sure what exactly Indy is trying to do. I would try to reach someone there and ask them exactly what they are talking about.

I don’t know what else to say really.

Hope that helps. Good luck Jen!

The Feds Themselves Issued Subprime Loans in 2001

From the WSJ this morning “FDIC Faces Mortgage Mess After Running Failed Bank“:

It turns out that the U.S. government itself was one of the lenders giving out high-interest, subprime mortgages, some of them predatory, according to government documents filed in federal court.

Reminds me of Lisa Simpson’s line in “Homer the Vigilante“, when Homer sets up a group to track down a cat burglar.  Lisa’s line goes along the lines of (paraphrase): “but if you’re the police, who’s going to police the police?” To which Homer replies “I don’t know, the Coast Guard?”

Fixing the Foreclosure (Mortgage) Mess

A few weeks ago I started a weekly series on the mortgage market attempting to cover important elements from news items to blog posts. Regular readers know I slacked off on this promise after week one. However, I must say I did have good intentions. Inertia is the main issue here and converting potential energy into kinetic energy is difficult. However, I have not forgotten my desire to keep a weekly mortgage round up alive and kicking.

In that spirit, today I want to bring to your attention a brilliant post by the North Phoenix Agent, Heather Barr. She has proposed a very practical way to fix the foreclosure mess. Since she doesn’t trust any of the “big three” presidential candidates to offer anything that would work (she does admire the Obama overall theme though). So in the spirit of citizen government Heather proposes her own “real world” solution. This is a great post and a wonderful read. If only our leaders could think like her!

If you haven’t read it already, then head on over to the North Phoenix Agent Blog. We’d all love to hear from you on what you thought about her plan – so leave your comments. If you like the plan then maybe we can convince one of the candidates to select Heather as their running mate? 🙂 I’ve already made a campaign sticker!

Obama Barr 08

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