Hello loansafe.org community:
I'd love to hear from others who are trying to refi and/or otherwise deal with their investment property loans.
*I've already bounced this off of Erik and sadly he does not handle the state of Louisiana. He was very helpful and quick to reply.*
I have 10 units with 10 loans. Mostly Fannie, some Freddie. Serviced by Citi (4) Chase (5) Wells Fargo (1)
Earlier this year Chase indicated they could do HARP refi's for me (only would agree to on the notes they serviced), but wanted to charge upfront fees for appraisals. No amount of jawboning by me would get the appraisal fees removed, but I did get them to waive one and half another. Chase indicated they could refi 4 of the 5 notes. I think the 4 were Freddie and Fannie and the straggler was something else - IndyMac? I'm not really sure.
I get the packets of new loan docs from Chase and my savings amounted to about 70 bucks a note. This is going from a 7% interest rate to market. They had tacked on points and fees that jacked the loan amount up to not make it worth-while, in my opinion. The sad thing is in six months I can request PMI removal and save around 50 bucks a note. The problem is - for my investments to perform, I'm going to need move savings than that. I really need a couple hundred off per note (which is what would happen if they used the current rates and did not tack on all the fees they are allowed to get away with)
Citi was worse. They would do HARP on the notes they serviced, but needed $700+ per note up front for an appraisal fee which would not be refundable if the notes did not go through. (Chase had agreed to refund if the notes did not go) No amount of jawboning over a period of 5 months would get them to budge on this. I did not even have them send paperwork.
Wells Fargo. They indicated they could only look into doing HARP refi's on the notes held by Fannie due to the number. I havent gone forward with them as I need to refi everything for this to work out for me.
My take on this is that as far as up front fees - the service banks have leeway to waive fees if they want - but some choose not to. Further, it appears to me that they have learned how to pack these HARP notes with all of the fees they can. They still stay "true" to HARP by being able to say they will offer a savings - but the savings is small, increases the note (in my case) by 5 years and increases the principal.
SO - Does anyone have a suggestion? I'm to the point where the only other avenue I can try is to stop making the payments and discuss modification with the appropriate departments. As it stands I haven't missed any payments and do not have access to certain areas within the service banks that can make these changes.
MY thought being that if HARP can't help me with ALL of my units, and/or if the upfront fees are such that I can not afford to pay - I have no incentive to keep up the payments. *Units are underwater by 10% to 20% easily given the current market conditions
I would love to hear HARP strategies I haven't tried, or other places to call.
OR I'd love to hear about any success people have had with the service banks once they stopped making payments on the investment properties.
The frustrating thing is everything would be dandy if these loans could be changed to current market without filler fees.