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Call Kurtis: How To Keep Your Monthly Home Payments From Going Up

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New homeowners may find out their monthly payments are considerably higher than they expected.

Four months after a Sacramento man bought his house, his bank told him his payment was going up $400 so he called Kurtis.

This guy bought the house knowing exactly what he could afford. But told he’d have to pay $400 more a month, he’s afraid he’ll lose his new house.

“When I got it, I was just really happy,” said Michael May, Sacramento resident.

A four-bedroom, three-bathroom home for $125,000.

It’s Michael’s first house. His lender told him his monthly payment would be $921, including property taxes and homeowners insurance. But four months in, his lender raised his payment by $400.

“I was in disbelief. I called everybody, trying to find out why, what it was, I didn’t understand it at all,” said Michael.

Turns out, it’s based on his property taxes.

The county last assessed his home’s value at $286,000.

The county assessor’s office told him it could take up to two years to reassess it down to around the $125,000 he paid.

And only then he’d get a refund for the taxes he overpaid. But Michael says he can’t afford that higher house payment for long.

“So I’m kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place,” said Michael.

“Unfortunately you may have to pay a higher first installment when you don’t really want to,” said Christina Manley, chief appraiser with the Sacramento County Assessor’s Office.

Manley says if you go online and find the house you bought this year assessed for much more than you paid, call your county assessor’s office before Sept. 15.

“We’re going in and trying to identify the decline so that by the time the bills are issued in October, we’ve got the correct value on the main bill,” said Manley.

The county did right away reassess Michael’s house at $125,000.

But even then his lender refused to lower his monthly payment until seeing his next tax bill, which won’t arrive until October.

Once we got involved, his lender had a change of heart, lowering his payments.

“It would put everything right back where it was supposed to be,” said Michael.

No matter which county you live in, you can still ask for a reassessment until Nov. 30 – but the sooner, the better.

Sacramento County’s Assessor’s Office tells us they’re currently reassessing 220,000 homes.

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