Changes to refinancing rules

Understand more about why refinancing rules have changed.

A: The mortgage industry has been undergoing significant changes. Some large providers have gone out of business, those still in business have tightened underwriting standards, government scrutiny is incredibly heightened, and far-reaching reform measures have been enacted (some still yet to take effect). To put this into perspective, Googling "mortgage regulation" produces 19.6 million results, while "physician regulation" lists 7.7 million results.

The most current data indicate that 12.4% of residential mortgage loans are either in some stage of delinquency or in default, so you can surmise why something had to change. It is imperative that you work with experienced mortgage industry professionals with solid track records. They will be better equipped to prepare and guide you through the process.

Send your money management questions to (please include your regular postal address). Answers to our readers' questions were provided by Steven Austin, executive vice president of Commerce Bank in Tulsa, Oklahoma.