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Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)
Program Deadline: Extended through December 31, 2015.
3+ Million Helped
HARP has helped more than three million people refinance.
1. Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac must own or guarantee the loan.
2. The loan was originated on or before May 31, 2009.
3. The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80 percent.
4. The borrower must be current on their mortgage with no late payment in the last six months and no more than one late payment in the last 12 months.
Borrower’s can visit: www.HARP.gov or look up to see if their mortgage qualifies by visiting Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s mortgage look up tools. This is the first step to determining if they qualify.
Borrowers should contact their existing lender or any other mortgage lender, offering HARP refinances.
Create refinancing opportunities for eligible borrowers, while reducing risk for Fannie Mae and Freddie
Mac and bringing a measure of stability to housing markets.
HARP Introduced in 2009
FHFA and the Department of the Treasury introduced HARP in early 2009 as part of the Making Home Affordable program.
HARP provides borrowers, who may not otherwise qualify for refinancing because of declining home values or reduced access to mortgage insurance, the ability to refinance their mortgages into a lower interest rate and/or more stable mortgage product.
2011 Program Enhancements
1. Eliminated certain risk-based fees for borrowers refinancing into shorter-term mortgages and lowered fees for other borrowers.
2. Removed the 125 percent LTV ceiling for fixed-rate mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
3. Waived certain representations and warranties that lenders commit to in making loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
4. Eliminated the need for a new property appraisal where there is a reliable AVM (automated valuation model) estimate provided by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
5. Extended the end date for HARP to December 31, 2013. (Note: the deadline was extended to December 31, 2015 in 2013)
The program enhancements were developed at FHFA’s direction with input from lenders, mortgage insurers and other industry participants.
FHFA Launches National Education Campaign (September 23, 2013 News Release)
FHFA Extends HARP to 2015 (April 11, 2013 News Release)
FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Announce HARP Changes to Reach More Borrowers (October 24, 2011 News Release)
Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) (October 24, 2011 – Fact Sheet)
Lender FAQ - HARP Phase II (October 24, 2011)
Fannie Mae Instructions for Lenders
Freddie Mac Instructions for Lenders
For the latest Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan modification and refinance (HARP) figures please see FHFA’s Foreclosure Prevention & Refinance Reports.
Tabacco: The Following Article was picked for informational purposes only – this is NOT an Endorsement for ENG LENDING!
Some have contacted us asking about some of the disadvantages and dangers of the HARP Loans program. We were at first taken aback by this because some people viewed this program as a “too good to be true” government program. Many were jaded and suspect that the government was willing to help the common homeowner with their mortgage and keep them in their homes. After we spoke with them, those who qualified have never been happier. Most homeowners are taking advantage of today’s mortgage climate by lowering their payment, reducing and locking in their rate. (I say most homeowners are “lowering” their payment because you can actually raise your payment under HARP 2. But 95% of people who use HARP 2 to refinance are saving hundreds of dollars each month.)
Well – we tried doing some research into this and we can’t really find any drawbacks except maybe one. HARP 2 is limited in the fact that it only allows homeowners to refinance who have a loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Hopefully, there will be an updated program – HARP 3.0 – that allows for all homeowners who are underwater to refinance – regardless of who owns their note.
Other government streamline programs have done well such as FHA and VA. Like HARP, these have had great feedback from the customer. With HARP, I truly hope HARP 3 gets passed. Here is what we know currently about who qualifies for the rumored HARP 3.0 program. The main difference between HARP 2 and HARP 3 is that your loan doesn’t have to be backed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
Below are more guidelines to who would qualify under HARP 3.0.
- A self-employed person who used stated income for the original mortgage and can verify their current income via federal tax returns
- A prime borrower who used a sub-prime mortgage because mortgage rates were lower and or fees were less as compared to a conforming loan
- A Jumbo mortgage homeowner who lives in a high-cost area whose original mortgage was for between $417,000 and $625,500.
- A wage earner who used a stated income and or stated asset mortgage for convenience
- Sub-prime borrower who has paid mortgage as agreed and can verify income and assets
- An Alt-A borrower, whose FICOs were low at the date of origination, but have since improved.
HARP 3 would help millions of homeowners and hopefully it gets passed soon so that homeowners can take advantage of today’s low mortgage rates. The Fed has promised low rates till 2015 so hopefully they keep their word and homeowners will be able to continue to refinance.
Tabacco: If you are switching from Fuel Oil No. 2 to heat your home to Natural Gas, you
should MUST research the difference in cost per month in using those 2 Fossil Fuels. Then do the arithmetic to determine how many months/years it will take before you recoup your Conversion Investment!
You MUST follow this very same Procedure if you do take advantage of HARP 2! DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Begin by reading the Article, which follows!
When is a HARP refinance worth the cost?
By Polyana da Costa • Bankrate.com
- HARP refinances don’t always reduce monthly payments substantially.
- The bigger the mortgage, the larger the potential savings every month.
- Upfront costs are big for those with bad credit and negative equity.
Lured by the opportunity to reduce their mortgage payments, many homeowners embark in the often-frustrating experience of trying to refinance through HARP — the Home Affordable Refinance Program.
The federal program, designed to ease refinancing for homeowners who are underwater or have little equity on their homes, may sound like a good opportunity on the surface. But is it worth the time, hassle and money you will need to spend on closing costs?
Borrowers who refinanced through HARP in the first half of 2010 saved an average of $125 to $150 a month on their monthly mortgage payments, according to Freddie Mac.
That’s not much, considering some of these borrowers spent thousands on closing costs.
“Borrowers get attracted to refis like moths to a flame”, says Ed Conarchy, an investment adviser and a banker at Cherry Creek Mortgage Co. in Vernon Hills, Ill. “They are attracted to that low rate, but sometimes they don’t see that’s only half of the story. You have to factor in the closing costs.”
Closing costs vs. savings
Those with larger loans who got mortgages when rates were in the 6 percent to 8 percent range are more likely to benefit from HARP refinances than homeowners in less-expensive areas.
For instance, a borrower who refinances a $125,000 loan that originally had a 6.5 percent interest rate will save $90.13 a month in mortgage payments with a refinanced loan carrying a 5.375 percent interest rate, according to Jim Sahnger, a mortgage consultant for FBC Mortgage, in Jupiter, Fla. But that borrower would have to spend about $3,230 in closing costs, meaning it would take the borrower almost three years to recoup that money.
Tabacco: There is one more CAVEAT I wish to convey, which nobody ever seems to mention about MORTGAGE LOAN REFINANCING:
Regardless of Savings, few would negotiate down a Mortgage that has 25 years already paid off (5-years left of basically Principle, not Interest as in the early years) to return to Day 1 of Year 1 of a NEW 30-YEAR MORTGAGE!
If you cannot do the Arithmetic yourself, find someone, who can before your Convert to Gas or Refinance your Mortgage!
Tabacco: I consider myself both a funnel and a filter. I funnel information, not readily available on the Mass Media, which is ignored and/or suppressed. I filter out the irrelevancies and trivialities to save both the time and effort of my Readers and bring consternation to the enemies of Truth & Fairness! When you read Tabacco, if you don’t learn something NEW, I’ve wasted your time.
Tabacco is not a blogger, who thinks; I am a Thinker, who blogs. Speaking Truth to Power!
In 1981′s ‘Body Heat’, Kathleen Turner said, “Knowledge is power”.
T.A.B.A.C.C.O. (Truth About Business And Congressional Crimes Organization) – Think Tank For Other 95% Of World: WTP = We The People