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Can I refinance my manufactured home?

By   |  Posted in Ask The Expert

Q: My manufactured rental property is underwater. Is there any hope for a modification or refinance?

A: It is not surprising that you are having trouble getting mortgage relief on your manufactured rental.

First, most refinance and modification efforts are available only for owner-occupied properties; yours is not. Also, modification programs are usually aimed at homeowners in some form of financial hardship; you don't mention that this is the case.

As well, the only "official" refinance program for most underwater borrowers is the Home Affordable Refinance Program, but that is only available if your loan is owned or backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac; presumably, your loan is not.

If your loan is an FHA-backed loan, you might be eligible for a streamline refinance, which appears to also apply to rental properties. Presumably, if the FHA backed the loan initially, they would generally re-back it.

However, lenders are skittish about putting "risky" loans into the FHA pool these days, so you'll probably need to shop around long and hard to find a mortgage lender who will help. Also, all indications are that even though the process is streamlined, you cannot finance the closing costs into the loan, so you'll need to pay them out-of-pocket.

About the author:

KTGA 25-year expert observer of the mortgage and consumer debt markets, Keith Gumbinger has been cited in thousands of articles covering a wide range of consumer finance and economic topics in outlets ranging from the Wall Street Journal to the Bottom Line newsletters. He has been a featured guest on national broadcasts for CNN, CNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC television networks and has been heard on NPR and other national and local radio programs. Keith is the primary researcher and writer for HSH.com's MarketTrends newsletter and has authored or co-authored a number of consumer guides on mortgages, home equity, refinancing and more.

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