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FHA Streamline Refinances Increase in Louisiana After Fee Cuts Take Effect

By: Lisa Burden | October 25th, 2012

Streamline refinances in Louisiana under the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) have skyrocketed since lower premiums under the program have taken effect. According to data provided by FHA, there were 202 streamline refinances in the Pelican State for the period of June 2011 through September 30, 2011 compared to 543 streamline refinances for the period of June 2012 through September 30, 2012.

FHA reduced upfront premiums to 0.01 percent of total loan amount in June 2012 and annual fees were cut to .55 percent for borrowers with FHA loans made before June 1, 2009. The fee cuts were part of an Obama administration effort to spur the economy by helping homeowners take advantage of historically low interest rates.

FHA has estimated that the average qualified FHA-insured borrower saves approximately $3,000 a year or $250 per month by refinancing.

The FHA Streamline Refinance program drastically eliminates the amount of paperwork that has to be provided to the lender. The program’s requirements are minimal. A borrower does not have to demonstrate employment under an FHA Streamline Refinance. Income verification is not required and the borrower’s credit score is not checked. An appraisal is also not required. However, lender requirements may vary.

But, borrowers must be current on their existing FHA mortgage – no late payments for one year — and the refinance must show a legitimate reason for refinancing, i.e., “net tangible benefit.” One example of a net tangible benefit is refinancing from an adjusting ARM into a fixed rate loan and, of course, there’s always the benefit in lowering monthly mortgage payments by obtaining one of the super low interest rates available today. The streamline refinance does not allow for cash out.

Borrowers are finding that obtaining a refinance through online resources is convenient. Instead of searching for a single lender to assist with an FHA Streamline Refinance, multiple lenders who are able to help borrowers with this program are available in one place. The online form is available for this purpose. Besides being convenient, it is fast as a response is returned almost immediately and added security is provided because a social number is not needed.

FreeRateUpdate.com surveys more than two dozen wholesale and direct lenders’ rate sheets to determine the most accurate mortgage rates available to well qualified consumers at about a 1 point origination fee.


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