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Land Issues

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Posted On: 02/02/2011

QUESTION:

We thought we got a good rate when we bought our manufactured home three years ago with a VA mortgage, but now 7 percent is huge considering the other loans that are out there. We do not own the land beneath it. Due to that fact, we are being told that there’s nothing that can be done to refinance a VA loan. What can we do?

ANSWER:

If your home was “real estate” then it would be possible to refinance to a lower rate with a VA guarantee. However, since the land is not owned the house must be refinanced with a personal property loan rather than a mortgage. The catch is that the rate for a personal property loan will be higher than the rate for a mortgage secured by land.

QUESTION:

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I was approved for a modification with my lender, then my loan was transferred to a second lender. The second lender denied the loan modification but has been taking a second look for the past nine months. The second lender says I have excessive back taxes and other costs. Can they do this?

ANSWER:

If you’re applying for a modification under the government’s Making Home Affordable program then certain deadlines apply. Apparently you’re not facing foreclosure or lacking equity – you just want a better rate and term.

In today’s world loan applications are done with electronic speed. I just refinanced a property and the entire process took about three weeks. I suspect if I was in a hurry that closing might have been sooner.

Nine months is a ridiculously long period to refinance a personal residence. Rather than continue to wait eternally for new financing, ask the lender for the specific reason for the delay. If no sensible answer emerges, then shop around and see if something better is available from other lenders.

Peter G. Miller is the author of The Common-Sense Mortgage and a veteran real estate columnist. Have a question? Please write to peter@ctwfeatures.com.

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