Unthaw Frozen Home Equity Lines of Credit


You may have taken out a home equity line of credit to help you cover the expenses of life – anything from adding an additional bedroom to your home to putting your twins through four years of grad school. But if you suddenly received a letter stating that your home equity line of credit has been frozen, you are probably wondering where to turn next.Most home equity credit lines bear the stipulation that the creditor can freeze your line under situations that are outlined in Regulation Z, under the Federal Reserve Board’s codes. For many home equity lenders, this is interpreted as being able to shut you off from your available line of home equity credit if market conditions in your area make the value of your home decline, or if your income has been reduced to where they feel you are at great risk of defaulting on payment to them for credit already extended.Get Around Regulation ZYou have several options. You can argue with your lender to attempt to persuade them to reinstate your credit line. You can back up your argument by pointing out your good payment history (if payments have come due under your agreement); or by listing homes in the area that have recently sold at or above market value. Discussing the freeze with customer service for your lender has a small, but not impossible, chance of getting your credit line unfrozen.Your best option is to vote with your feet by choosing a different lender. True, you may have to pay additional closing costs over what you have already paid for your current, now-useless credit line, but you can switch lenders.In fact, there are online lenders who deal very effectively with taking on borrowers who have had a frozen credit line. With less strict stipulations regarding market values, these lenders can refinance your current line while making the additional credit you need available to you.Apply Online For the Credit Line You NeedTo apply, you will need to gather all the information pertinent to your current home equity line of credit. Visit the lender’s secure online site where you can begin the application process. You will be asked to verify certain things – like your income, employment, etc. Most of the needed documentation can be either emailed or faxed to the new lender.As with a your original home equity line of credit, your new credit line will allow you to use your home equity line of credit for up to twenty five years. At the end of that period, you will have the opportunity to renew your credit line, or begin repayment. Oftentimes, you can pay during the time that your home equity line of credit is open; this greatly reduces the amount that you will owe at the end of the term.If you have had your home equity credit line frozen, voting with your feet by choosing a new lender can not only make a bold statement to the lender that you have other options, but can also save you money by the possibility of getting better rates online.