Can I negociate out of having an escrow account during a HARP Refi?

I'm intending on using the HARP program to refi but would like to not have an escrow account. I'm financially secure and have an excellent credit score (800+). I'd like the opportunity to make some interest on the money I would be setting aside for my city taxes and HO Insurance. I've never missed a payment in the 8 years we've owned the house, in Southeast Michigan. The principal is approx. $119k and estiamted value is $105k. I'd also LOVE to get rid of PMI, also... Is this feasible? Thanks!

1 Answer

Love your optimism, but no on both waiving escrows and losing PMI. HARP loans, like other Fannie/Freddie loans, require escrows for LTV's over 80%, which you certainly are. Some lenders will allow you to waive escrows IF you are already with them and don't currently escrow, but in general answer is no escrow waiver if over 80% loan to value. If you're paying PMI now (which you implied), you will continue to pay it on the new loan, but it won't go up despite your greatly reduced equity position. Please note that assets, debt to income ratios, and credit scores do not impact the requirement for an escrow account or PMI.

Ted