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Profile picture for JenInMD

Bought $300k, 6.125% in Capitol Heights, MD 3 yrs ago. Value now 150-200k. What can I do?

I brought a townhome 3 yrs ago for 300k and now its value is btwn $150-200k. My rate is 6.125%. What kind of assistance can I get, if any, due to this severe depriciation? Its a fixed interest only loan. Can I get a traditional refinance, a loan modification, etc?
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June 14 2010 - Coral Hills
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Profile picture for workabee
No hardship, no help and no one will refi you if you're underwater. Straight truth--no one cares if you've lost value as long as you still pay the mortgage. 
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June 14 2010
Profile picture for MSIBERTW
You bought a house in that mid-level crime area called Capitol Heights? You were a sucker, and just got licked.

I am sorry to read your loss though.  To lessen the impact, I'd suggest trying to ask the mortgage people to give you a reduced rate.  I hope you can negotiate not paying so many closing fees too.  If the sticker shock of the new mortgage don't seem to fit what you hoped, and you intend on staying there for some time, then do what you can to make extra money and use that cash to pay off the loan quicker.  It'll pay off in the long run if you can shorten the debt, even if only by 6 years.

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April 19 2011
Jen - don't let one phone call to B of A modification department frustrate you. Sometimes it can take many calls to get through. Many times they will lose your modification package you send in. The whole process stinks but could result in a positive result for you. Don't give up....
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June 21 2010
Profile picture for sunnyview
You have to make a hard decision. Keep on paying while you wait to come 100K above water again so that you can sell or say adios and take the hit on your credit for a few years. Unfortunately, Maryland looks like it is a recourse state which means that the bank can pursue you for the mortgage debt even after you give the house back see here. You may be able to negotiate a deed in lieu and get the bank to sign off on the debt or if you have other debts, you may be able to declare bankruptcy to get the debt dealt wit that way. Both of those options would probably take a consultation with an attorney to see what the legal options are in your state.

I am sorry you are dealing with this, but you are not alone. B of A knows that they can pursue you if you walk away so they don't really want to negotiate. They are stinkers and their numbers for helping homeowners are some of the lowest of the big banks. Without a hardship, a loan modification is unlikely. You need to explore the legal options. A one time consultation with an attorney is not too expensive maybe $200-400 and is worth finding out where you stand so you can make a solid choice. You may be able to ask a few legal questions for free on avvo here to find an attorney or see what your options are.
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June 15 2010
Profile picture for JenInMD
So I called BOA and its a no-go on refinancing since they will only do it at 95% of the current value on my house which they have as $156k and so I would have to pay them the balance of the $300k loan -- no can do! So they sent me to the loan modification dept. and I gave up last night after being transferred and getting cut off about 3-4 times and not being able to get a live person on the line.
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June 15 2010
There is a lot of good advice on this topic.  Your first call, as you've pointed out, is to your lender.  If there isn't a hardship, however, there isn't much they can/will do for you.

I have had a few clients in this position and they've done everything from staying the course to walking away.

See what BOA says and then go from there.

Good luck!
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June 14 2010
Profile picture for JenInMD
Thanks everyone for the quick responses. I got the "current values" from this website/zillow. Some in the neighborhood have been selling below $150k as well. I did take a look at the MHA website and it seems like someone say I may be out of luck because I am still able to make my mortgage payments on time. I just feel like I need to get a break -- at least with the interest rate. So I'm going to call my original lender (BOA) tonight and see what they tell me. I also do think its ridiculous that I'm paying $300k (and that is how much is left on the loan since I'm in an interest only deal at the moment) for a home that is worth almost half of that today.
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June 14 2010
Profile picture for Ken Kopper
JenInMD, out of curiousity, where are you getting value of $150-200k from?
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June 14 2010
Profile picture for wetdawgs
You may wish to read the "making homes affordable" website here.

There are a few lenders who will consider refinancing at a lower interest rate for a primary purchase loan of up to 125% of the current fair market value.  That is probably your best best.

For most of us, when we purchase a house there is no guarantee that prices will go up.   While there are some programs to help those who are really suffering from buying at the peak, you and I are subsidizing those heavily.
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June 14 2010
I wouldn't go so far as to say no one cares.  Tell me a little more about the situation.  How much do you owe on the mortgage?

The first step I would recommend is to see if you can refi through your existing mortgage provider.  There are refinance programs available that will let you refinance up to 125% of the value of the home. 

Start there.  If they do not offer that we can move on to plan B.  I would be happy to help any way I can.

Good luck!
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June 14 2010
 
Related Questions
Bought $300k, 6.125% in Capitol Heights, MD 3 yrs ago. Value now 150-200k. What can I do?
Profile picture for MSIBERTW
Latest answer by MSIBERTW
April 19 2011 | 10 answers
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