Mortgage Transfers and Refinancing
Consider refinancing your mortgage if you can get a rate that is at least one percentage point lower than your existing mortgage rate and if you plan to keep the new mortgage for several years. When comparing mortgages, don't forget to include the extra fees you must pay for the new mortgage. You may be able to get some fees waived if you are able to refinance with your current mortgage holder.
In addition, the Making Home Affordable Program offers opportunities to modify or refinance your mortgage to make your monthly payments more affordable. It also includes the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program for homeowners who are interested in a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. Visit the website or call 1-888-995-4673 for more information.
New Federal Reserve rules help mortgage borrowers by requiring that mortgage companies notify them when their loans are transferred to another company. Before the new rules, if your loan was sold or transferred from your current lender to a new lender, the new lender did not have to tell you that it acquired your loan. The new rules ensure that you know who owns your loan, which is important information if you have questions or payment disputes or want to discuss loan modifications.
Under new rules, the company that takes over your loan must send you a notice within 30 days of acquiring it. Even with a new loan owner, the company that "services" or handles your loan might not change and you might continue to send your payments to the same address. If that loan servicer changes, you will receive a separate notice.
For more information about servicing companies, read the Federal Trade Commission's publication "Mortgage Servicing: Making Sure Your Payments Count".