Published Aug 24, 2009
I'm sure many of you already know about this, but I'm posting this for those who (like me!) didn't know about this applying to mortgages. In my case, I own a home in Texas that I couldn't sell before going active duty. My only option was to rent it out. As mortgage rates dropped I tried to refinance but couldn't because it is now a rental and they required me to have 20% equity--something I don't have or I would have sold the darn place! Anyway, a colleague told me that the SCRA applies to mortgages too so I contacted my bank and what do ya know? It sure does!
The happy ending is that I faxed my orders to the bank and within one week my interest rates on both mortgages (1st and 2nd) were reduced to 6%. There were no fees and no hassles. My mortgage payment dropped by about $250 per month. NICE! Even better was that the bank calculated the reduction retroactively to the time I went AD so I'm not required to make my next few mortgage payments because I've overpaid!
I hope this helps someone out there who may be struggling with home issues.
Thank you, this post will probably be helpful to many people-including me.
carolinapooh, BSN, RN
Oh man, this is VERY helpful as we are in the same boat - we are going to rent out our current home and get another in Texas. Appreciate the footwork on your part and your willingness to share!!!
Please be careful when you switch your home owners insurance to a business policy. Our rental house was vandalized last nite(molotov)! Well to find out our normal deductible is $1000(fire, storm damage, theft, ect..) but the deductible on the vandalizing on any business policy with "American... Insurance" is $5000. So right now I am still in a bit of shock. Please check the policy with a fine tooth but you will need to change from a rental to a lanlord/business policy.
Hopeful - sorry to hear about your situation; thanks, though, for passing this on as a heads up. Sending good vibes and good luck your way.
athena55, BSN, RN
:yeahthat: I hope that no one was hurt!
Thanks, no one was hurt. My tenant was in the house with her 3 children sleeping! They have a suspect(one of the neighbors has a security camera outside his house). Thay have not arrested the suspect yet but hopefully today will be the day. The suspect apparently has been flirting and making advances towards my tenant but that is all I know of the story.
My claims adjuster with "American...Insurance" said the $5000 deductible on the bussiness/lanlords policy was put in place about 5 years ago d/t the high claims with rental property being vandalized-usually by tenants.
My insurance will attempt to get money back from any person responsible, in the event someone is arrested. They will file a civil suit and hopefully get a judgement but I am not sure how far that will go. I won't hold my breath on that one.
Anyone that is going to rent out their home, I would say shop around and directly ask the agent what is the deductible on a vandalism claim. Also if possible I would try to get a tenant that will purchase their own rental insurance as well.
You should make renter's insurance part of the rental contract. No renter's insurance - no contract.
We're going to use Coldwell Banker as our rental management company and they won't rent to anyone without proof of renter's insurance PRIOR to the contract signing.
You should make renter's insurance part of the rental contract. No renter's insurance - no contract.We're going to use Coldwell Banker as our rental management company and they won't rent to anyone without proof of renter's insurance PRIOR to the contract signing.
sounds good, next time around.
The Little Greek
Wow Hopeful, that is quite a mess! I'm glad to hear no one was injured. Thanks for the info about the insurance. As a side note, I too discovered something about my insurance about a month ago. I have had State Farm insurance on all of my belongings (cars, home, etc) for about 20 years. When I started renting my home I just transfered the policy from homeowners to rental property. I also left my cars on my State Farm policy so that I'd continue to get a multi-line discount. When I got to VA I got renter's insurance through USAA. Mind you, it's been a year, then the other day I get a letter from State Farm stating my multi-line discount has been dropped. Apparently when you switch to a rental policy it counts as a business (which Hopeful mentioned) so you can no longer count that property toward the discount. Not a terrible thing, just something for everyone to consider when making the switch.
I wanted to revive this thread to mention a new tax law that may affect many of you AD folks that are married. It's called the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act. Amongst other things, it states that military spouses are not subject to a state's income tax just because they live in that state. For example:
I am a resident of Texas but I am stationed in Virginia. I don't pay Virginia state tax but my husband does. With the new law, he does not have to pay Virginia state tax and can assume his residency as Texas for tax purposes. This is works out great for us since Texas doesn't have a state income tax. This means he will get back all the income tax he paid to the state of Virginia in 2009 and going forward does not have to pay income tax.
There were forms that we had to fill out and I had to prove that I was in the military and in Virginia on orders. We will also have to file a special tax form so my husband will get all his 2009 VA income tax back. This won't help everyone, but in my case it's a small blessing! You can read more here http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c111:4:./temp/~c111V8C1vB::
It's written in legal mumbo jumbo but you get the idea.
God bless those military wives who lobbied the crap out of Congress to get that changed.
Good post, Greek.
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