The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) has come up with a series of changes in an effort to help more eligible borrowers who can benefit from refinancing their home mortgage.

This new program has its limitations and it is not for everyone.

The most important factor that will affect to a lot of my clients is that:

If you are behind on your mortgage payments, this program is not for you…
you must be current with your monthly payments to your bank!

The following was taken directly from their official announcement

What is the purpose of this new program?

  • Eliminating certain risk-based fees for borrowers who refinance into shorter-term mortgages and lowering fees for other borrowers;
  • Removing the current 125 percent LTV ceiling for fixed-rate mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac;
  • Waiving certain representations and warranties that lenders commit to in making loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac;
  • Eliminating the need for a new property appraisal where there is a reliable AVM (automated valuation model) estimate provided by the Enterprises; and
  • Extending the end date for HARP until Dec. 31, 2013 for loans originally sold to the Enterprises on or before May 31, 2009

 

Which borrowers may be eligible for an enhanced HARP?

The borrowers must meet the following criteria:

  • The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
  • The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
  • The mortgage cannot have been refinanced under HARP previously unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March-May, 2009.
  • The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%.
  • The borrower must be current on the mortgage at the time of the refinance, with no late payment in the past six months and no more than one late payment in the past 12 months.


What about borrowers whose loans are not owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae?

This only applies for loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac

What should be your first step if you think you qualify for this program?

Call your lender immediately and ask for this program by name.

How can I tell if my loan is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?

Simple, just go here to find out:

For FANNIE MAE

For Freddie MAC

 

My Thoughts:

This is not the magic bullet that homeowners in distressed are looking for.

But it's a start in the right direction.

If you can qualify for this program, you should take the steps necessary to take advantage right away.

I encourage you to call your lender now.

 

To my clients that are behind in their mortgages payments and we are helping you in a short sale. . This new program does not change the fact that still. . a short sale could possibly be your best option when your property's value is so much higher than what you owe to the bank.