During the weekend of March 17, 2012, possibly while you're enjoying an Irish HARP's at The Celtic Swell off the shores of West Seattle, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be releasing the next set of expanded guidelines for the Home Affordable Refinance (coined HARP 2 or 2.0).
Many Washington area home owners with conventional mortgages closed prior to June 1, 2009 are eagerly looking forward to this St. Patty's Day so they can take advantage of the current low mortgage rates. If you've been turned down for a HARP refinance before, you should consider trying again with this expansion.
HARP enhancements on the March 17 release include:
- No maximum LTV (loan to value) ratio for fixed rate mortgages;
- 105% maximum LTV for adjustable rate mortgage;
- More properties will qualify to have the appraisal waived, including primary residences, second homes and investment properties.
Borrowers still need to qualify with income, employment, credit and assets. If a borrower is relying on income from a second job to qualify, there cannot be any gaps of employment for that job in the last 12 months. Fannie Mae DU Plus will also require 2 months of reserves for second homes and six months reserves to be verified for investment properties.
Some Washington home owners are not waiting until next month to refinance. If Fannie or Freddie are accepting the home's current value (generally it's underwater no more than 105% LTV) they may receive an appraisal waiver. You may not have to wait either! If we do not receive an response from Fannie or Freddie with an appraisal waiver, we can work on improving your credit or savings while we wait for the next expanded guidelines next month.
If your home is located in Washington state, I'm happy to review your scenario. For your HARP rate quote, click here.
I am required to have the language below if I am soliciting your Home Affordable Refi for your home in Washington…and yes, I would love to help you with your HARP (or any) refinance:
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have adopted changes to the Home Affordable Refinance program (HARP) and you may be eligible to take advantages of these changes.
If your mortgage is owned or guaranteed by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, you may be eligible to refinance your mortgage under the enhanced and expanded provisions of HARP.