HARP Refinance Mortgage Lenders
HARP Refi Program Overview
Known as HARP 2.0, HARP 3.0, DU Refi Plus or the Obama Refinance Program #MyRefi, the Home Affordable Refinance Program is designed to assist homeowners in refinancing their mortgage when the value of their home has declined, making traditional refinancing no longer an option.
HARP stands for the Home Affordable Refinance Program, which is a government loan program that was recently updated to help more people who have underwater mortgages.
Since many homeowners were caught in a time period of rapidly declining property values, there was a need to create a refinancing opportunity for those that lost significant value in their properties but made their mortgage payments on time.
Refinancing your mortgage through the Obama Administration's HARP program will could help you save hundreds of dollars on monthly payments or obtain a more secure loan program, regardless of how much your home will appraise for.
Basic HARP Eligibility Requirements
- Your home loan is guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
- Your loan was originated on or before May 31, 2009.
- You are current on your mortgage payments.
- You have had NO thirty day late payments for six months.
- You have had NO sixty day late payments for 12 months.
- You owe more than 80% of your home's estimated value.
You can check to see if your loan is eligible for HARP by CLICKING HERE, or feel free to call our HARP Approval Hotline at 888-627-6802 to speak with an approved HARP Mortgage Lender who specializes in underwater mortgage refinance options.
Benefits Of Refinancing With HARP
Bottom Line - The HARP program that is specifically tailored for borrowers suffering from negative equity does not have the same set of requirements or criteria as traditional or conventional loans.
- Unlimited Loan-to-Value Restrictions - to allow more people to refinance, regardless of their home's appraised value.
- Lower Banking Fees & Rates - by allowing lender participation, homeowners can shop around for the best deal vs being stuck with the bank that they are currently making their mortgage payments to.
- Owner, Investment, Second Homes OK - not just limited to owner occupied properties, investors and landlords can benefit with a HARP Mortgage Refinance as well.
- Less "Red Tape" - removing many of the barriers that have previously prevented people from refinancing, such as appraisals, complicated subordination agreements with second lenders and mortgage insurance transfers.
Getting Started With Your HARP Loan
Refinance Options For Underwater Homeowners
This new refinance program is intended to be as easy and streamlined as possible through the entire process. Even second mortgage subordination agreements and Mortgage Insurance contingencies are not posing as major road blocks.
Step 1) Determine if your loan is with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have adopted changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) and you may be eligible to take advantage of these changes if your mortgage is owned or guaranteed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The following websites will help you determine if your mortgage is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac:
Step 2) Contact a HARP Mortgage Lender to submit your initial HARP Application and obtain an initial pre-approval based on your eligibility status.
Don't Give Up
If you or someone you know was unsuccessful in getting their mortgage refinanced with the first lender you speak with, keep in mind that you can contact a qualified HARP specialist with HARP Approval at 888-627-6802 to discuss your options or learn more about the proposed HARP 3.0 extended guidlines that may be coming in the near future.
Top Five HARP FAQ's From Homeowners
What if I am really upside-down on my mortgage, can I still qualify for HARP?
YES - The new updates to the Home Affordable Refinance Program were primarily to address the millions of homeowners who had lost equity in their properties due to the financial crisis by removing the Loan-to-Value (LTV) limits on HARP Eligible properties for borrowers who refinance under HARP with a fixed rate mortgage. However, the LTV limitation for a refinance into an ARM is maxed out at 105% LTV.
How long will the HARP program be available?
HARP has been extended until Dec 31, 2015, and your refinance must be completed on or before that date to qualify under the HARP 2.0 guidelines.
Can I get a principle reduction under the HARP Program?
NO - The purpose of HARP is to help borrowers reduce their monthly mortgage payment or refinance into a more stable program, such as from an ARM to a fixed-rate mortgage.
Can I get cash-out to consolidate debts?
NO - There is no cash-out option for the Home Affordable Refinance Program.
What occupancy and property types are allowed under HARP?
One amazing benefit of the program is that the HARP Mortgage Program allows for non-owner occupied investment homes and second homes in addition to primary residences. The only difference is that the loan to value ratio for the HARP Mortgage Program on investment properties and second homes is that LTV ratio starts above 75% as opposed to above 80% for owner occupied properties.
This is a really good thing for not only the borrowers but also the housing markets. Non-owner occupied properties whether it is a second home or investment property will always be walked away from before primary residences. From a homeowner psychology standpoint, there is no questioning this mentality.
How Effective Is The Obama Refinance Program?
A Government Program That Works
According to the most recent FHFA Refinance Report, in October 2013, 46,387 refinances were completed through HARP, bringing the total refinances through HARP from the inception of the program to 2,989,204, and borrowers who refinanced through HARP had a lower delinquency rate compared to borrowers eligible for HARP who did not refinance through the program.
Additionally, the FHFA Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted a Mid-Program Assessment in August 2013 to evaluate the effectiveness of HARP and determined that near half of the four to five million anticipated borrowers have refinanced through the HARP refinance program since March 2009.
Additional HARP Program Insight
Possible Challenges For Homeowners
There are several factors that can determine the final approval of your new HARP Loan, such as Credit Scores, Debt-to-Income (DTI) Ratios, Loan-to-Value (LTV), occupancy types… and so on. To complicate what should be a streamlined program for borrowers, each mortgage banking institution has their own set of lending guidelines or bank overlays that they generally follow without exception.
The good news for underwater homeowners is that there are plenty of HARP Lenders who specialize in new loan program and have the internal systems in place to effectively communicate with borrowers.
The Making Home Affordable Refinance Program was opened to all participating mortgage brokers, bankers and lenders on March 19, 2012, which is extremely beneficial to homeowners because it means you have the ability research your options with other mortgage companies for help with the HARP program, vs being restricted to having to exclusively deal with your current servicer or bank.
You can check to see if your loan is eligible for HARP by CLICKING HERE, or feel free to call us at 888-627-6802 to speak with an approved HARP Mortgage Lender who specializes in underwater mortgage refinance options.
Beware Of Scams
Even with the introduction of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), mortgage and loan modification scams are still a topic of concern for underwater homeowners who may be faced with possible foreclosure due to a loss of income or other disabling factor that prevents them from making their mortgage payments on time.
Scammers make promises that they can’t keep, such as guaranteeing to “save” your home or lower your mortgage, usually for a fee, often pretending that they have direct contact with your mortgage servicer — which they do not. You can learn more about mortgage scams at MakingHomeAffordable.gov
Tips to Avoid Scams:
- Beware of anyone who asks you to pay a fee in exchange for counseling services. Real help is free.
- Beware of people who pressure you to sign papers immediately or who try to convince you that they can “save” your home if you sign or transfer over the deed to your house.
- Do not sign over the deed to your property to any organization or individual unless you are working directly with your mortgage company to forgive your debt.
- Never make a mortgage payment to anyone other than your mortgage company without their approval.