HARP Refinancing Program Extended for 2 Years
The Home Affordable Refinance Program known as HARP was created by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). It only applies to mortgages insured by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
The Home Affordable Refinancing Program (HARP) will be expanded until December 31, 2015 (see below). HARP is a government financing program for underwater homeowners who have federally insured mortgages by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before June 1, 2009. This program requires applicants to be current on their mortgage. Under HARP 2.0 there is no longer a limit on negative equity for mortgages terms up to 30 years. This means underwater homeowners can refinance without private mortgage insurance (PMI). Anyone interested in this program must have on-time mortgage payments during the last 6 months, and no more than 1 late payment during the last 12 months. The goal of this program is to help borrowers who are unable to qualify for a restructured loan because the value of their home is underwater due to the dropping home prices behind the recent housing market crash.
To apply for HARP contact your lender or any mortgage company participating in this program. Qualifying for HARP should help you reduce your mortgage interest rate, and the monthly principal and interest of your mortgage payment. Borrowers taking advantage of this program can also reduce the term of their mortgage, and change the type of mortgage (adjustable rate mortgage, balloon mortgage, interest only mortgage) to a fixed-rate mortgage. The most surprising item of HARP 2.0 is all occupancy types are allowed to participate in HARP refinancing. This includes owner occupied (primary residence), second homes, and rental (investment) properties. But the interest rates under HARP are higher for homes other than the borrower’s primary residence.
With mortgage rates below 4% current homeowners wishing to remain in their homes should take advantage of this program. If you don’t own a home then contact us. Contact us for assistance if you need help selling an underwater home in our service areas.