We have Private Mortgage Insurance on our house because we didn't put 20% down when we bought it. We've recently paid some extra money on the mortgage, and we now have > 22% equity. We've contacted the bank to try and remove the PMI, but they want us to get an appraisal to prove that the we have 20% of the current value of the house.
Housing prices in our area have declined, and it's entirely possible that we don't have 20% equity based on the "market value", but we have more than 20% based on the "original/sales value". We have excellent credit and a perfect payment record.
Does that count for anything? I've tried looking into the "The Homeowner's Protection Act (HPA) of 1998", which deals with automatically cancelling PMI. It's a little ambiguous to me, but it seems the law is on the side of the bank in this case.
Is there anyway to get rid of PMI based on the original value of the house?