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Ask an Expert: How to get your co-op board to approve your refi

By Teri Karush Rogers | September 27, 2011 - 10:36AM 

Q. I own a co-op and want to refinance my mortgage. Are there any tips or tricks to getting it approved by my co-op board?

A. Definitely, say our experts.   You stand the most chance of winning approval if your new loan is at a lower interest rate than your old one and you don't increase your total indebtedness--except, perhaps, by the amount of the closing costs, says property manager Thomas Usztoke

Refi rejections typically involve one or more of the following scenarios, according to Usztoke.  

  • Your mortgage principal increases above the co-op's established loan-to-value standards.
  • Your apartment's appraised value has decreased, potentially affecting the loan-to-value ratio.
  • Your financial position no longer meets the board's criteria.

Moreover, notes real estate broker and asset manager Roberta Axelrod, the board won't even look at your application if you owe the building any money, so make sure you are a shareholder in good standing on maintenance fees, fines, and other fees. 

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