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Banks are Freezing Home Equity Lines Of Credit
Saturday, July 5, 2008
What would you do if your bank called to tell you that your home equity line of credit had been frozen or even cancelled? For most homeowners, shock would be the first emotion followed quickly by confusion.
Why would banks be pulling the line of credit from homeowners who have had no trouble paying off the loan. Banks have recently been pulling home equity lines of credit from all applicants, even those homeowners who never tapped the line of financial credit.
The number of homeowners who have been affected have been in the tens of thousands, as more and more banks are trying to stem mortgage losses. As banks are dealing with heavy losses from their subprime mortgages and additional high risk loans, the viable home equity loans are also taking a hit as the bank pulls the money before this equity credit line also becomes a problem.
Essentially, banks are trying to save their money from being lost to homes that fall into foreclosure. There are many home owners who took out lines of credit on their house when the real estate market was high. Now these some home owners are needing to sell their house
but are having obvious problems finding home buyers
. The first thing home owners look to for money when they can no longer afford their mortgage is the equity in their house.
In late third period of 2007, the delinquencies on HELOC mortgages increased 47 percent from the previous year. Analysts have predicted higher numbers for 2008. For this reason, banks have been responded by pulling their Home Equity Lines of Credit, most of which were in high foreclosure cites like, Las Vegas Nevada, Stockton California
, Boise Idaho
, Miami Florida
, Houston Texas, New Jersey, and Orlando Florida.
Where are you most vulnerable to have a frozen HELOC? If you live in a housing area where prices have fallen by 10 percent or more, your property might be the prime target for a HELOC freeze. There are new lending standards which means that your HELOC will be in danger of disappearing if you bought your home with little money down, especially if you purchased your new home within the last few years.
These factors will combine to see a higher rate of foreclosures and might make your financial institution feel that they need to pull the plug on the HELOC before real money troubles begin. Whereas lenders were able to borrow as much as 100 percent of the home value in previous years, most homeowners cannot see more than 90 percent or even as high as 60 percent in some areas that have been severely hit by declines in the housing market.
If you established your HELOC a few years ago, you might be in for a surprise. Current lenders are applying the same revised standards retroactively to current HELOC owners. In order to verify your loan cap, you should contact your bank to see if your loan is at risk. If you miss a payment or have a change in your credit score, your HELOC might also be flagged for a potential freeze.
What should you do? If you are using your HELOC to finish a renovation, you can potentially pull out a lump sum in order to finish the project. You will want to only take what you need so that you do not get into harder financial troubles.
If your HELOC has already been put on hold, you can fight the decision with your financial institution. Look to see why the line was suspended and what you can do to appeal the decision. As many banks automate the process to freezing the loans, you can appeal to a person for a reverse in the decision.
If you are thinking of using your home equity line of credit to pay your mortgage while you sell your house
, you might want to pull money out quick. The banks are implementing this new freeze standard nation wide so save the money they have. Your best option to sell your house fast is to get an offer from a local home buyer
. These professionals are in every major city in the nation and make their living from helping people sell their house fast.