Is it possible to obtain a home equity loan these days?

Asked by SK, Orangevale, CA Fri Sep 13, 2013

My boyfriend bought a house 14 months ago and would like to take some money out to finish a remodel. House was a fixer. Cash has been exhausted. Wells Fargo turned him down citing not enough equity and past bankruptcy. BK is 3.5 years old and houses around us are selling fir $100k more than he paid 14 mos ago and nowhere near as nice as the finishes in our house. there something out there to help us out? Have no interest in refi since his rate is so low. He makes $65k and owes about $225k on the mortgage. He has been at his job 15 yrs. We are trying to do as much as we can month by month but need flooring and insulation before winter comes. We froze to death last winter. Smud bills were around $700 a month and that was with hardly running our heater. We have new windows that were installed incorrectly by previous owner and leak and the list goes on. We also have no rich relatives. We need about $20k. Help!

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Bob Willett, , Sacramento, CA
Thu Oct 31, 2013
Generally speaking HELOCs (Home Equity Lines of Credit) are much, much harder to get today than they were a few years ago. Most of the time they are only up to 80% of the property’s value, and are almost always now a bank portfolio loan. We have one that can be used for a purchase that will go up to 90% of the home’s sales price, but it does not work for cash-out. I would absolutely look at what Sue Archer recommended. SMUD and PG&E both have programs that can be used for energy improvements – and many home improvements fall into this category. Best of luck!
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Bill Cook, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Manhattan Beach, CA
Sat Sep 21, 2013
Check out PFN. I am sure they can do the loan as they are a portfolio lender and have programs right after buying the property 30 days you can pull equity out. I am not sure about having the BK and a equity loan though. Although they have loans for 30 days outside of BK too.
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Sue Archer R…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Sat Sep 21, 2013
The items you mention needing financing for might be able to be handled through your local utility company, like SMUD. They often offer low cost financing for energy efficient mortgages. I know that many of the banks also offer EEM's but I can't explain much about them. But ask. Energy efficient mortgages have the funds going directly for specific products and may be easier to obtain than ones that don't specify their use.

Russell makes a good point that maybe refinancing would be a consideration in this case, but the other side of the coin is to consider an unsecured loan. IF you make a plan to pay it off within a reasonable amount of time it might make sense. For example, if you opened a new credit card that allowed 0% financing within the first year, and you could pay the total off within 12 months then you actually get a 'free' loan. The risk is that if you don't then your interest rate is very high, and a credit card debt is not tax deductible where the other loans I mentioned are tax deductible.

....just thought I'd mention it.
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, ,
Sat Sep 14, 2013
I can certainly help you out there. You can call me at 408-352-5147 or email me at You can check us out at I will look at your situation and present you with some options.

Alex Greer
NMLS #1056079
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