If you find yourself upside down on your VA mortgage a very common question is, can I still refinance? In today’s economy home values just aren’t what they used to be and this situation is becoming a fast growing reality for may homeowners. So the answer to that question is…Yes You Can Refinance Your VA Home Loan!
Just to be clarify, being “upside down” on a mortgage is when you owe more on your mortgage than what your home is actually valued at in the present economy.
Here’s an example scenario:
Let’s say that you bought a home back in 2006 for $250,000. The 2006 economy was pretty strong, and home prices in many markets throughout the country were steadily increasing in value.
Now let’s fast-forward to today. The recession that started in 2008 has been declared “over” by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER for short), and the economy is in the first stages of recovery.
Considering the current housing market, it’s possible the home you bought in 2006 won’t sell for the same price or higher today. For this example, let’s say the market price in your area is now $200,000.
The catch is even though the market price is now $200,000 today, you still owe the remaining principal on the $250,000 on the mortgage you took out in 2006. Unless you’ve made extra payments to pay down the loan, it’s likely your balance is still greater than the $200,000 your home is worth.
In other words, you are upside down on your mortgage.
With that said, there is some great news for veterans:
In 2008 a law titled the “Veteran Benefits Improvement Act” was passed to assist veterans who were upside down on their mortgage. This law created the opportunity for eligible veterans to get a VA refinance and drastically change their mortgage state of affairs.
The Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2008 was signed by President Bush on October 10, 2008 and was officially applied by the VA on October 16, 2008.
The enhancements made to the VA home loan program are as follows: