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My mortgage is currently underwater by over 23%. I like to get some ideas of what my options are to get out of this situation. I’m also option to the idea of relocating. My loans is not owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae; so, I’m not eligible for the HARP program. So, please offer me some other options.

Thanks in advance.

6 Thoughts on How do I get out of an underwater mortgage?
  1. Reply
    February 13, 2014 at 1:41 am

    You have two options.

    The first, is that you keep the home and sell when the market corrects itself. That’s probably your best option. That will probably take a bit of time.

    The second is that you sell short. You’ll take a significant credit hit and still be liable for the difference in what it sells for, and what you owe. You’ll be free of it, but you’ll still owe on your loan.

  2. Reply
    February 13, 2014 at 2:03 am

    You don’t qualify for any of the ‘save your house programs’? (which I would hope you would research extensively)

    If not, you really can only:
    1. Stay if you can still afford it and hope that in 5-10 years it may level back out a bit
    2. Negotiate a short sale with the lien holders
    3. Foreclose and vacate. (They will often give you incentives for exchange of the keys)

    Speak with the lienholders.

    Now I don’t know your financial situation and of course a foreclosure, a short sale, and a bankruptcy are detrimental to your credit and other financial situations, but for a few of my close friends that was the only way out. Start fresh by renting for 4 or 5 years and you would be eligible to purchase again.

    Good luck, my friend.

  3. Reply
    deb s
    February 13, 2014 at 3:00 am

    Are you looking to just get out of the mortgage because you don’t want to pay it any more…or do you have no choice (unemployed)?

    If you have no choice…try to work something out to make a short sale. You might be able to make a deal allowing the bank to foreclose with the lease legal effort on their part and maybe get some sort of deal to wipe the remainder of the debt off the books (after the foreclosure auction)

    BUT… if you are choosing to do this, the default on the mortgage it is going to ruin your credit for a long time…and you are going to have legal hassles. If you try to sell are going to find out that there isn’t a buyer for the price of the mortgage…and the banks are not jumping at the short sale options. And, they are not going to be helpful to anyone who can pay but just refuses to honor their contract.

    So.. if you really insist..walk away and take the major hit to your credit.
    You won’t be getting a loan for a long time after that. You won’t be renting anywhere decent either…landlords are not happy to take a tenant that has walked away from a contract.

  4. Reply
    Unca Alby
    February 13, 2014 at 3:05 am

    Unfortunately, the easiest way out is to simply stop paying your mortgage.

    It’ll put a black mark on your credit, but typically your lender won’t be willing to work with you until you’re around 3 payments behind. After that, they might offer you all sorts of options, including refinancing to a lower interest rate, cutting the principle, or doing a short sale.

    But before you try anything this drastic, I have to ask — are you able to painlessly pay your mortgage NOW?

    I mean, is your job still providing steady income? Are you able to make payments without going hungry? Are you happy in this house?

    Because, unless you NEED to move, you might as well just stay put. Being “underwater” is merely “accounting slang” for owing more on the house than it’s worth. But that only becomes an issue when you need to sell. What you can sell it for will be less than what you owe.

    The proper term is “negative equity”, and equity doesn’t mean a thing until it’s time to sell. The house could be worth 100 times what you owe on it — or it could be worth the price of a Double-Mocha-Latte — but if you’re not selling it right now, so what?

    If you don’t NEED to sell right now, just stay there. The market will turn around eventually, and maybe by the time you’re ready — actually really ready — to sell the house, it may have an improved market value.

    You may still be able to find a lender willing to refinance the loan for a lower interest rate, if you can prove that your income is stable and you aren’t having troubles paying the mortgage. They’ll just turn around and sell the loan to Fannie/Freddie, and you’ll save money on interest. You’ll still be “underwater” but you’ll be better off with a lower payment.

    Just my two cents — and remember, I’m no expert.

  5. Reply
    the kid
    February 13, 2014 at 3:22 am

    Short sale. This will ruin your credit.

    Do you want to get out of the house just b/c it’s underwater? Or can you not afford it? IF it’s only b/c it’s underwater, then you wait it out. People giving up on their loans just b/c they are underwater is why the economy is still in the tank.

  6. Reply
    February 13, 2014 at 4:17 am

    Continue to make payments and it’ll eventually not be underwater.

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