Your neighbors are saving money! Even though there are foreclosure sales in your neighborhood driving down home values, don’t give up hope. Here are profiles of four local families who managed to refinance their “underwater” mortgages.

The DM family bought their home in 2005 and had a good rate for that year. When they asked about refinancing last year there were no options available because they owed more than their home was worth. Luckily, they asked again this fall and loan guidelines had loosened up on the Freddie Mac Relief Refinance Mortgage enough to help. Even though they are still “underwater”, we re-wrote their loan on a new 30-year term and saved them $329 per month, and just over $2,000 in interest expense each year. Yes!

The TB family wanted to combine their first and second mortgages into one new loan. They owe more than the house is now worth, but using the Fannie Mae DU Refi Plus loan worked for them. Since the second mortgage holder agreed to stay in second title position behind our new loan, we were able to save this family $331 per month and over $3,000 per year in interest expense. Yes!

The MS family only purchased their home in early 2012 so they had a pretty great rate, but in using the VA streamline refinance program we were able to make it better. With this loan, borrowers who have a VA loan are eligible to refinance to a new VA loan without having to get a new appraisal. In the case of this family, they are saving about $60 per month in payment and just over $1,000 per year in interest expense. With a new baby on the way they have found a way to use their monthly savings. Yes!

The SD family really, really wanted to have a lower rate on their FHA loan, but they took their loan after the cut-off date for “vintage” (cheap) mortgage insurance rates. Even though they would save $191 per month, the new loan had monthly MI costing nearly twice what they already paid. We analyzed the figures a dozen different ways to be sure we were making a wise move, and in the end they chose to use the FHA Streamline program to drop their monthly expense. No new appraisal was needed, which was key, since they too are upside down on their loan. Yes!

Are you hearing the message? Programs exist to help those with clean mortgage payment histories even if you owe more than your home is worth. Two of the programs mentioned here are set to expire in December 2013. Isn’t it worth a few minutes to call and see if there is a refinance program for you, too?