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Sandy and mortgage refinancing

By Holden Lewis ·
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Posted: 4 pm ET

Many mortgage refinances are likely to have been blown apart by Superstorm Sandy. If you were in the middle of a refinance, you probably will face delays.

If you applied and were approved for a refinance but Sandy hit while you were waiting to close, the lender almost surely will want to re-inspect the house. Fannie and Freddie give lenders the option of not inspecting homes for storm damage, but in most cases lenders will hire someone to look at the house to see if there's any damage.

If the home was damaged by the storm, it has to be repaired before you can close on the refi. Lenders are allowed to make an exception allowing the loan to close if the damage isn't major, if insurance covers it and if enough money is set aside to pay for repairs.

There is an exception to the inspection policy: If you're refinancing a Fannie- or Freddie-backed loan under the Home Affordable Refinance Program, the lender doesn't have to inspect or reappraise the property if it had been inspected or appraised before the storm.

If you're employed, the lender is required to verify within 10 business days of closing that you still have a job. If you're a business owner, the lender is required to verify within 30 days of loan closing that the business is still running. But don't expect the lender to rely on pre-storm employment or business verification. Most lenders will make a verification call within a few days of the closing date.

How's your refi going? Hit me up on Twitter @HoldenL.

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