Unfortunately if your home mortgage was signed prior to July 29, 1999 your lender is not required to cancel your PMI once you reach any given level of equity. Federal law does not require the lender to release your PMI unless it was a part of your signing agreements.
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As a part of the Homeowners Protection Act of 1998, home mortgages signed on or after July 29, 1999 should have their PMI automatically terminated once the borrower reaches 22 percent equity in the home. By request, your PMI can be canceled in most cases once you reach 22 percent equity in the home.
If your lender says you do not qualify for termination of your PMI but you have reached 20 percent equity it may be due to particular state rules that apply to where you live. You can contact the state to learn more about particular laws in the state you live.
If your loan is considered high risk, termination at the 20 percent equity mark may not be possible. If you have any liens you may also be restricted from canceling your PMI.