Bank of America VA IRRRL Refinance Program

December 4, 2010

Have you received something that says there is a “special” Bank of America VA IRRRL refinance program and are looking for more information?

Good news – the VA IRRRL refinance program is probably the best VA refinance program available if you currently have a VA loan and want to get a lower interest rate.

Even better news – the program is not something that you can only get at Bank of America.

In fact, it is a very, very good idea to shop VA lenders who can give you a quote of what exactly the closing costs will be with a VA IRRRL loan as well as what the interest rate is. Obviously, the lower the interest rate and fees, the better “deal” it is for the Veteran.

Bank of America VA IRRRL Refinance

The reason that many Veterans may think that the VA IRRRL program is something that is specific to Bank of America is that they do a good job of marketing the program – and since many Veterans are not familiar with the program (maybe it is due to the funny name!) they just assume that it is only available at Bank of America.

But it isn’t!

So be sure to shop among at least a small handful of lenders to get the best rate and fees associated with your IRRRL refinance. Chances are that you will be surprised by the differences in what you see as far as getting the “best deal” from various lenders.

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VA Streamline: 7 Things About The VA IRRRL Streamline Refinance

July 2, 2009

Many people contact us every day asking about the highlights of the VA streamline (also known as the VA IRRRL refinance program) so we thought we would put out a simple list of the basic requirements of the VA streamline / VA IRRRL refinance program.

  1. You cannot get any “cash back” at closing when doing a VA streamline / VA IRRRL refinance.
  2. The abbreviation “IRRRL” stands for Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan and is also commonly referred to as a “VA Streamline Refinance”.
  3. If you currently have a fixed rate VA loan, the new interest rate on your new VA loan must be lower than the interest rate on your current VA loan at the end of the VA streamline / VA IRRRL refinance.
  4. If you currently have an adjustable rate VA loan, your interest rate can be higher than it is now as long as your new interest rate is a fixed rate when you participate in the VA streamline / VA IRRRL program.
  5. With the VA streamline / VA IRRRL refinance program, no appraisal is required by the VA. It is possible that certain lenders will require an appraisal for their own purposes, but one is not required by the VA.
  6. The VA streamline / VA IRRRL refinance can be done where you don’t have to pay any “out of pocket” closing costs. All costs may be rolled into your new loan.
  7. You may use any VA approved lender – Veterans are encouraged to shop around.

Still have questions about the VA IRRRL / VA Streamline refinance program? Be sure to contact a VA IRRRL expert today! 888.448.2669


VA IRRRL Streamline: Owning Multiple Properties

June 8, 2009

Pretend for a moment that you own multiple properties.

Pretend that you have a VA mortgage loan on your primary residence and have another property that is an investment property.

For whatever reason, you have been forced to do a short sale on your investment property – and you have missed more than 5 payments in a row on the property.

But you have always been current on your current VA loan that is your primary residence.

Can you participate in the VA IRRRL streamline program?

It depends on the lender.

If this situation sounds like your situation (or similar) be sure that you explain it in detail to your loan officer who can help you find a lender who will only require a Verification of Mortgage (VOM) on the loan you are currently wanting to streamline.

Even though most lenders today will require that you provide an updated VOM on all properties that you own, it is still possible to find a lender who only requires an updated VOM on the property that you are trying to streamline.

You just have to know where to look.

Oh – and as always, the lenders on the VA streamlines seem to be changing the rules at least weekly – so be sure to keep in contact with your loan officer until your deal funds just to be sure.


VA Streamline Refinance: Is An Appraisal Required? Maybe.

May 7, 2009

For many years, the VA streamline refinance (aka the VA IRRRL program) did not require an appraisal in order for a Veteran to refinance their VA loan and get a lower interest rate.

But that may be changing.

It is not uncommon now for some lenders who lend money on these loans to require some form of an appraisal. It can be a full blown appraisal, it can be a drive-by appraisal — but the point is that many are now requiring it where before they did not. And FHA/VA has not changed their criteria for what they will insure — an appraisal is currently not required in order for a VA streamline to be insured.

As an example, an announcement by Wells Fargo to all correspondent lenders said:

“in an effort to mitigate the risk of declining home values on VA IRRRL transactions on May 18th will require the seller to obtain and deliver a conventional appraisal to Wells Fargo. Please Note: VA has indicated this appraisal should not be submitted to the VA with the guaranty package.”

Does this really make any sense?

Not really.

But it isn’t the first time that things haven’t made sense in the mortgage market recently.

If you are in the market for a VA streamline and your loan officer is telling you that an appraisal is now required, be sure to ask him if he has access to any other VA lenders – many lenders are still not requiring VA streamlines to have an appraisal.


VA Streamline Refinance: Lower Monthly Payments

May 5, 2009

The VA streamline refinance has been around for quite a few years – and it is a focused effort by the VA to help veterans secure the lowest fixed interest rate available.

The VA streamline is also known as the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL).

The VA streamline is simply a way for people who are currently in a VA loan to lower their interest rate with very little or no out-of-pocket costs. The VA streamline refinance should be done with very little effort and can help veterans start saving immediately.

The VA streamline allows you to refinance your current mortgage to a lower interest rate when it is available and is only available to veterans who used their VA eligibility when initially purchasing their house.

“No Cost” VA Streamline loans let you refinance your mortgage with no out-of-pocket expenses. There are two different ways a lender can help you with a VA refinance. One is that you take a slightly higher interest rate and the lender picks up all costs. The other option is to get the lowest possible interest rate available and just roll in the leftover fees involved.

But either way, the VA streamline refinance program should help you save a significant amount of money on your VA loan — which is what it was intended for.

If you are veteran, now is a great time to see if the VA Streamline program can help you lower your monthly payments. Find a VA Streamline Expert now at 888.448.2669


VA Streamline Refinance: VA IRRRL Refinance Program

May 4, 2009

VA Streamline Refinance Program (aka The VA IRRRL Program)

The VA Streamline Refinance is designed to help veterans secure the lowest fixed interest rate available and is also known as the VA Interest Rate Reduction Loan program (IRRRL). This loan option is a way for current VA homeowners to lower their interest rate with very little or no out-of-pocket costs. Both the Arizona VA Streamline and the California VA Streamline are more popular than ever.

The VA IRRRL Streamline is supposed to be “fast and easy” with minimum documentation requirements, it can help veterans start saving money on their monthly mortgage immediately.

VA Streamline Program highlights include:

  • No appraisal is required
  • Will not need to provide bank statements, W2s, job verification or paycheck stubs
  • You cannot receive any cash at closing
  • It is possible to roll all closing costs and prepaid items into the loan amount – so no out-of-pocket costs
  • You must be current on your existing VA mortgage and not have had more than one 30-day late mortgage payment within the last 12 months.
  • Upon closing, it is possible to defer a monthly mortgage payment
  • Within 30 days of closing, you will receive the money that was held in your old escrow account because a new escrow account will be set up with your new loan

VA Streamline Refinance Information from VA.gov

“Veterans are strongly urged to contact several lenders.  There may be big differences in the terms offered by the various lenders you contact.

Some lenders may contact you suggesting that they are the only lender with authority to make IRRRLs.  Remember – Any lender may make you an IRRRL.

Some lenders may say that VA requires certain closing costs to be charged and included in the loan.  Remember – The only cost required by VA is a funding fee of one-half of one percent of the loan amount which may be paid in cash or included in the loan.

The occupancy requirement for an IRRRL is different from other VA loans.  When you originally got your VA loan, you certified that you occupied or intended to occupy the home.  For an IRRRL you need only certify that you previously occupied it.”

If you are veteran, now is a great time to see if the VA Streamline program can help you lower your monthly payments. Find a VA Streamline Expert now at 888.448.2669