Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hey, THDA! “Great Save!”

THDA has a new product that could be an answer for homeowners facing an adjusable rate mortgage they soon can’t afford...

Effective October 1, 2008, THDA announced a new product to further help the beleaguered homeowner found facing an adjustment on a rate for a mortgage that they’ll no longer be able to afford. It’s called the “Great Save” program, and it is an excellent choice for the right, qualifiying individual.

Basically, THDA will allow a qualifying person to refinance his/her adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) at the current interest rate that is offered for THDA’s Great Rate program. For instance, as I write this blurb, the rate is 5.8%. Typically, the Great Rate is below current market rate. So, this program can “save” you in more ways than one.

This program isn’t for every average Joe who has an ARM loan with an adjustment looming. There must be a financial hardship established by showing one of the following criteria is met at the time of “application for” and “closing of” the Great Save loan. For one, if the payment to income ratio based on the current payment for the qualified adjustable rate mortgage loan or the anticipated adjusted payment will be greater than 31%, this would count as an established financial hardship. Or, the payment to income ratio based on the lifetime capped interest rate (fully indexed) of the qualified arm loan will be greater than 35%. Also, if the lifetime capped interest rate for the qualified ARM loan exceeds the Great Save interest rate offered by THDA by more than 2%, then the criteria is met. As well, if the original ARM loan includes a prepayment penalty of $1000 or greater, you’ve met a criteria. And finally, the last is if there is an involuntary reduction of household income of at least 5% monthly or increased expenditures due to death, permanent disability, serious illness or injury of the borrower or co borrower since the origination of the original loan.

Did you get all that?

All the other THDA restrictions apply, such as income and appraised value limitations. After all, THDA services the low to moderate income borrower. Plus, if you have access to assets (without penalty) that comprise 10% or more of the ARM’s balance, you won’t qualify -for obvious reasons. And you can’t use this program to refinance your beach house. Once again, for obvious reasons.

For this program, you will have to have obtained your ARM loan between 12/31/01 and 01/01/08. So, if you weren’t paying attention to all the news stories and got an ARM loan in March of this year, THDA can’t help you. But, I can’t think of many people who did that. However, I’m sure there are some out there who did.

To receive this help, THDA is going to ask you to attend a homebuyer education course called “Keeping the American Dream.” Its emphasis is on financial management, and it’s taught through a certified THDA trainer. You have to attend this seminar/class before you close on your loan.

Thus, if you have a conventional, VA or FHA adjustable rate mortgage that you soon will not be able to afford, contact a local THDA lender. It just might be the greatest save you’ve made since you were the goalie on your high school soccer team!

Let My Experience Work For You!
Email your home loan financing questions to Kristin Abouelata, Home Loan Specialist with Mortgage Investors Group, at or call direct: (865) 567-0113 Toll Free: 1-800-489-8910. For more information visit her website at Home Loans Plain Talk.


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