We've been waiting to see what the "new Obama refi program" would be and this morning, the Federal Housing Finance Agency published a news release announcing new changes with the goal of reaching more borrowers. Home Affordable refinances are available to home owners who have a mortgage that is securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
Here are some of the changes that are being made to HARP:
- Removing the 125% loan to value ceiling for fixed rate mortgages. If refinancing into an adjustable rate mortgage there is a 105% cap.
- Eliminating the appraisal where there is reliable AVM estimate available. Currently some Fannie Mae HARP refi's have qualified to have appraisals waived, it appears this may become more of the norm with HARP refi's.
- Eliminating certain risk-based fees for borrowers who refinance into shorter-term mortgages and reducing fees for other borrowers;
- Extending the end date of HARP until December 31, 2013 for loan originally sold to Fannie or Freddie on or before May 31, 2009 (note – the date a loan was sold to Fannie or Freddie is different than the date you closed on your refinance).
Borrowers must be current on their mortgage payments with no late payments in the past 6 months an do not have more than one late payment in the past 12 months.
HARP refinances are available for single family dwellings and condos as well as owner occupied, second homes and investment properties.
You DO NOT have to use your current mortgage servicer (who you currently make your mortgage payments to) for your Home Affordable Refinance unless you currently have private mortgage insurance. If your home is located anywhere in Washington State, I can help you with your mortgage needs.
If you have been turned down for a Home Affordable refinance because of a low appraised value and you otherwise qualified – this is your second chance!
More information is to be available by November 15, 2011. Stay tuned!
UPDATE: Here are some tips for preparing for your HARP 2.0 refinance BEFORE you apply.