We are currently upside down in our mortgage. We have a variable rate mortgage that is interest-only and cannot qualify for the federal refinance programs because we have never been late on our payments. What are our options? - Judith


It must be stressful to be in your shoes right now, but the government may be able to offer help. Take a look at the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). If your loan is held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac this may be a viable option as long as your current mortgage does not exceed 125 percent of market value. And because you’ve never made a late payment this program works for you. To be eligible you have to be current on your mortgage and not have been more than 30 days late in the last 12 months. Go to
for more information on this program, or you can call (888) 995-4673.

Beyond that, there is also a Home Affordable Modification Program ( which might be helpful if your mortgage payment (principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and homeowner’s association dues) is more than 31 percent of your gross income.

Let us know if these programs are helpful.