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According to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD), lenders may offer streamline refinances in several ways. Some lenders offer “no cost” refinances (actually, no out-of-pocket expenses to the borrower) by charging a higher rate of interest on the new loan than if the borrower financed or paid the closing costs in cash. From this premium, the lender pays any closing costs that are incurred on the transaction.
Lenders may offer streamline refinances and include the closing costs into the new mortgage amount. This can only be done if there is sufficient equity in the property, as determined by an appraisal. Streamline refinances can also be done without appraisals, but the new loan amount cannot exceed the original loan amount. Investment properties (properties in which the borrower does not reside in as his or her principal residence) may only be refinanced without an appraisal.
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