DEAR BOB: What is the difference between PMI (private mortgage insurance) and MIP (mortgage insurance premium)? After paying nine years on my FHA mortgage, I have tried to get my MIP canceled. But I have been told I can’t get it removed. I paid $70,000 for the house and it now appraises for $137,000 so MIP clearly is not needed by the FHA. How can I get my MIP canceled? –Glenda G.

DEAR GLENDA: Forget about canceling your MIP on that FHA mortgage. In your situation, where the FHA clearly doesn’t need your MIP to protect its mortgage if you should default, you are being ripped off every month you pay that extra cost.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

However, the only way to get rid of MIP is to refinance with a non-FHA mortgage.


DEAR BOB: My mother died almost three years ago. The local Probate Court finally distributed title to her house to her three adult children. But one of my co-owner siblings wants to sell the house. The other two, including me, want to keep the house as a rental because it has an excellent tenant. The sibling who wants to sell is threatening to take us to court to force a sale. Can she do this? –Eric H.

DEAR ERIC: Yes. The obvious solution is for the two co-owners who don’t want to sell to buy out the other co-owner who threatens to force a sale.

However, if that is not possible, the sibling who wants to sell the house can bring a partition lawsuit to force a sale with division of the net proceeds among the co-owners. For full details, please consult a local real estate attorney.


DEAR BOB: On a survey of my property, it shows an “overlap” with my neighbor’s property. How can I find out who is paying the property taxes on this property? Who really owns the property if it is an overlap? –Kimberly A.

DEAR KIMBERLY: There should never be an overlap of property boundaries. Either your survey is wrong or your neighbor’s survey is wrong.

You might need to hire an attorney to straighten out the conflict between the two surveys. As for paying the property taxes, if the overlap is small, I suggest you forget the matter. The county or city tax collector can tell you who is paying the property taxes.

The new Robert Bruss special report, “Pros and Cons of Investing in Rental Houses and Condominiums,” is now available for $5 from Robert Bruss, 251 Park Road, Burlingame, Calif., 94010, or by credit card at 1-800-736-1736 or instant delivery at Questions for this column are welcome at either address.

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center

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