Fact: 40 percent of underwater borrowers hold home equity loans.

You know what’s keeping the Title Companies going don’t you—all those re-fi’s. Mortgage rates are at record lows, and the rule of thumb is that if you recoup the cost of refinancing in a year or two and plan to stay in the home past that time frame, refinance when rates are at a historic low and save money.

Of course, as Steve Brown points out, that formula doesn’t work if you are underwater on your mortgage. That is, you owe more than the home is worth. This is the scenario where you bring in a nice pile of cash to the refinancing table—few want or are able to do that.

Fortunately, that scenario is dwindling in Texas. According to the folks who track this at CoreLogic, three-fourths of U.S. homeowners who are underwater in their loans are stuck paying higher interest rates. Stuck because unless they take cash to refinance, it ain’t happening. (more…)