Refinance: Playing by Tighter Loan Rules

If you're having trouble taking advantage of today's historically low interest rates, you're not alone. Even someone whose been in the real estate business for years as a real estate appraiser, Anthony Lavia, told HousingWatch that he's been denied refis by two banks even though he owes just about 60 percent on his home in San Francisco.

Lavia says he makes more than $100,000 per year and has $100,000 in liquid assets. His home is worth $800,000, and he's looking to refinance $420,000. His FICO score is almost 800 and he hasn't missed any payments in seven years. If he got a refi at today's rate his payment would go down by $200 per month, putting him in even a better financial position.

In the past he would have been a prime candidate for a refinance, yet because he's self-employed he's been rejected after applying to two different banks for a refinance. "The days of getting a little help from a broker/lender as someone else 'in the biz' of real estate are no more," Lavia said.