My house is upside-down — I owe $503,000 and the house is worth about $383,000. I have tried dealing with Chase Mortgage because I’m not behind in payment, but they cannot help me. What can I do as a retired CSM(E9)? I’m a USAA member too, and I have a full-time job. – William


What are you trying to do? If you’re trying to take advantage of today’s historically low interest rates and refinance, the updated Home Affordable Refinance Program may be an option. The details are still being worked out, but if you have a loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac this may be an option for you. Give the folks at Homeowner’s HOPE hotline a call at 888-995-4673. Also, if you have a VA loan you should be able to do an Interest Rate Reduction Loan or Streamline refinance without an appraisal. Beyond that, in our minds there are not a lot of options that are available without seriously damaging your financial situation. If refinancing isn’t an option, just continue to plug away — working down what you owe as the real estate market, hopefully, recovers and bumps up the value of your home.