Uncertainty in Financial Markets Could Cause Dramatic Rise in Existing ARMs at Next AdjustmentIf you or anyone you know has an Adjustable Rate Mortgage, this is an important point to consider. Many ARM loans are tied to the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). In fact, there are six million loans in the United States that use LIBOR to determine the interest rate and as the name suggests, many banks use this rate to lend money to each other.
But, today, banks lack confidence that the money they lend will be paid back. In light of what has happened with Lehman Brothers, IndyMac Bank and others, as well as AIG, banks are requiring much higher rates on LIBOR to offset the added risk.
The Federal Reserve Left Rates Unchanged but…
The Federal Reserve met yesterday leaving the target rate unchanged at 2.00% but just like LIBOR the actual rate being charged by banks to each other is closer to 6.00%. This again suggests that those with ARM loans should consider a refinance into historically low fixed rates.
Financial companies have been under attack. IndyMac was the largest bank to falter in twenty years. What brought IndyMac down was their exposure to defaulting loans. This sapped investor confidence and drove down the stock price until they filed for bankruptcy.
Following IndyMac, we saw Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch succumb and were either forced into conservatorship, to close their doors, or to sell themselves. AIG, the world’s largest insurance company was also impacted, forced to make a deal with the U.S. government to stay in business.
What You Can Do Now?
I’d be happy to go over your loan situation and help you understand how the recent events may affect you, and how you can best be protected. Additionally, chaotic times like these often present opportunities. I look forward to hearing from you.