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Can I re-fi w/o getting an appraisal? I don't have PMI, but value has dropped & now I'm < 20% equity

In July of 2010 (at the height of the first-time-homebuyer-tax-credit "boom") I re-financed my mortgage for a final balance of 124,000 at 5.0%.  At the time, it appraised at 155,000, so i was right at the 20% equity mark and therefore stopped paying PMI.

Now that rates are in the 3's, I am interested in re-financing again, but I'm concerned about paying $350 for an appraisal fee and being below the 20% equity mark and then having the new PMI off-set any savings that the decreased rate would offer.

Anybody know of any banks that would allow me to get around this predicament? Zillow estimates my house at around 140k, but I realistically think it is around 148k.  My mortgage balance is currently at 120,400.  

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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July 13 2012 - Overland Park
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Answers (2)

Call the person who last refinanced your loan. There is a chance they can streamline refinance you without cost of an appraisal. The chances of successfully refinancing without PMI with someone other than the current note holder would be slim. Good luck! .
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July 14 2012
Because of the date of your last refinance, you do not qualify for the HARP program. Your best bet is to talk to your local lender and discuss the cost of Single Premium Mortgage Insurance. This is where you pay a one time fee at closing, (based on credit score and loan-to-value), and eliminates the monthly charge. This may be a way to refinance and take advantage of the lower rates.

Thanks and good luck!
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July 14 2012
 
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