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Four ways to remove Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

January 27th, 2019 9:23 AM by Sam Kader

Buyers who put down less than 20 percent down payment are required to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). The Homeowners Protection Act of 1999 requires lender to inform borrower when they can cancel coverage. On August 4th 2015 - the CFPB bulletin further clarifies some requirements of the Homeowners Protection Act and is intended to help servicers comply with the law but does not create any new rules or requirements.  More information from FNMA on Termination of Conventional Mortgage Insurance

Here are 4 ways on how PMI can be removed: 


  1. PMI can be cancelled once the loan to value is 80 percent or less base on the original purchase price or appraised value - whichever is less. Automatic cancellation can also happen once 22 percent equity is reached (for mortgages with terms of 30 years or more).
  2. Get a new appraisal instead of the original purchase price or appraised value when deciding whether you have 20% equity threshold. 
  3. Remodel to increase value such as adding a room, kitchen or bathroom upgrades. Then ask the lender to recalculate your Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio using the new value figure. 
  4. PMI may cancelled during the first 5 years under the following conditions:  mortgages with terms of 15 years or less and the LTV reaches 78% or less. In order to determine whether the threshold has been reached according to the Federal Reserve Board -  follow the following steps: 
  • Step 1: Multiple the present value of your mortgage by 1.25. 
  • Step 2: Ascertain the purchase price or appraised value of your property. 
  • Step 3: If the value in step 1 is larger than in step 2, PMI will continue. If the value in step 1 is smaller than in step 2, you may request for PMI cancellation.  
In January 2015 - FHA announced that FHA mortgage insurance is now required for life of the loan. The only way out is to wait until you have 20% equity and to refinance into Conventional Financing.  

Here's what you should do to request PMI cancellation:

  1. You must request for cancellation in writing.  You should receive an annual letter from mortgage servicers who to call for information about cancelling mortgage insurance.
  2. You have to be current on your payments and have a good payment history.
  3. You must not have any subordinate liens of your property.
  4. You might have to get an appraisal to demonstrate that you have at least 20% equity. Estimate how much your house is worth using Zillow or contact me for a copy of your Comparative Market Analysis.

If you have a problem with a lender over PMI cancellation, contact the Federal Trade Commission and Washington state's attorney general.


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