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Can I Refinance My Private Mortgage?

Question: I have kept up with my mortgage payments for a year now following a modification.  My payment has been cut by a few hundred dollars and the remaining monthly balance is added to the principal balance. Will I be able to refinance under HARP even though my mortgage is not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac? If not, is there another way for me to refinance under the new program?

– Manny, N.J.

Answer: No to both questions. In order to qualify for the latest changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program — beginning on December 1 — borrowers must have a mortgage that’s backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. This refinancing program is largely intended for borrowers who are underwater, meaning that they owe more on their home than it’s worth.

For underwater borrowers who are trying to refinance a private loan, there is no official program. However, if you are having difficulty making payments under your current mortgage, your best option is to negotiate another modification with your lender. In the meantime, look for other ways to maximize your budget given your current payment plan.

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