Low appraisal, falling rates. Should the lender offer new terms?

Q: I locked in a rate. The property appraisal came in low, so I negotiated a lower sales price. Now interest rates have fallen again. Can I cancel the lock-in, get a lower rate for the smaller loan amount? These seem like two separate transactions to me, but the mortgage lender disagrees.

A: There's no "law" when it comes to a lock in. You can ask the lender to consider lowering the interest rate for you; they are under no obligation to do so but may. Of course, there is always the "nuclear option" of canceling the entire deal, but that can be expensive and burdensome, especially if the property is a short-sale or foreclosed home. You will need to decide if the loss of any fees you have paid and the hassle of restarting the process all over again is worth any small reduction in interest rate you might get.

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Keith Gumbinger
Keith Gumbinger
Mortgage Expert
Vice President, HSH.com
About Keith: Mortgage market observer and analyst with 35 years experience... (more)
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