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By Tammy Engel
Mortgage Advisor 

Maybe it's your tax bill

Mortgage Matters


June 9, 2018

Kern County's Treasurer-Tax Collector website says this month is the deadline to pay your current property taxes and penalties prior to defaulting. In October we'll all get a new tax bill for 2018. Why does it matter? Most homeowners don't really pay attention to property tax stuff because we pay it monthly, with our mortgage payment.

But a handful of folks have called in recent weeks looking to refinance because their mortgage company keeps raising their payments. And a reverse client rang to ask why they got a foreclosure notice. Have you actually looked at your tax bill lately? Get on the County's website to look up your bill and history, and be ready to gasp.

For the family that refinanced at 3.5 percent in 2013, the house payment has gone up and up and up. In reviewing their documents, the loan is fine – even the lender is fine. Here's what happened in their case.

When we closed the refinance, annual property taxes were $2,146.30 per year, or $178.85 of their monthly payment. The next year's taxes were $2,411.40, then $2,669.70, and are now $3,250.18. Measuring that on a monthly basis, taxes have gone up $91.99 per month in the past four years. Ouch.

And the reverse clients were not opening their mail to see that they had skipped a tax payment two years ago. He was supposed to open the mail, or maybe she was supposed to open the mail. Regardless, unpaid taxes can trigger foreclosure no matter what kind of home loan you have. We had them pay the arrears and everything is fine now, but that's a scary letter to get.

If you need a professional opinion about refinance, contact your favorite Mortgage Advisor. Rates are up and sometimes a whole new loan makes sense, and the loan pays for itself quickly. But other times refinancing isn't the answer it might appear to be. Don't fall for those mail solicitations, friends. Be smart, be choosy and get sound, experienced help before you jump on a refinance.

Tammy Engel is your local Mortgage Advisor, and has been working for your best interest since 1990. Contact her at 661/822-7325 with your purchase, refinance, and reverse mortgage needs. Great help is right here at home. NMLS #235051 CaBRE #01273839


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