The FHA is making more changes to its flagship FHA Streamline Refinance program.
Beginning mid-June 2012, certain current, FHA-backed homeowners will be able to refinance their existing FHA mortgage into a new one, without having to pay the government-backed group's new, costly mortgage insurance premium schedule.
Earlier this week, the FHA rolled out its new MIP schedule.
Beginning April 9, 2012, new FHA mortgages are subject to a 1.75% upfront mortgage insurance premium (UFMIP) and an annual mortgage insurance premium of up to 1.25% for loan sizes up to, and including, $625,500; or 1.60% for loan sizes exceeding $625,500.
Upfront MIP is typically added to the loan size as a lump sum. Annual MIP is paid via 12 monthly installments. Both add to the long-term costs of homeownership.
However, the FHA's new MIP schedules will not apply to all FHA-backed homeowners equally. Homeowners whose FHA mortgages were endorsed prior to June 1, 2009 will benefit from a different, less costly MIP schedule.
For these homeowners in search of a streamline, the MIP schedule is as follows :
- Upfront MIP : 0.01% of the loan size
- Annual MIP : 0.55% of the loan size, with no adjuster for loan sizes over $625,500
The new schedule is detailed in FHA Mortgagee Letter 12-04 and it lowers the cost of FHA Streamline Refinancing for long-time, FHA-backed households in California and nationwide to almost nothing.
As a real-life example, an FHA-backed homeowner whose $100,000 mortgage dates to 2008 could refinance via the FHA Streamline Refinance program and pay just $10 in upfront MIP, with a corresponding annual MIP payment of just $550, or $45.83 monthly.
By comparison, every other FHA-backed homeowner with a $100,000 mortgage pays $1,750 in UFMIP and as much as $1,600 in annual MIP.
The new streamline refinance MIP schedule is in effect for FHA mortgage applications with case numbers assigned on, or after, June 11, 2012. It is not available for loan applications made prior to that date.
There are lots of dates and deadlines in the FHA's new streamline program. If you're too early -- or too late -- you could miss your optimal refinance window. Talk with your loan officer, therefore, and put a plan in place. You'll be glad to be prepared.