Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced they will start using the Note date to determine if a mortgage qualifies for a HARP refinance in order to make things more transparent for borrowers. Both Fannie and Freddie are standing firm with the date of May 31, 2009. At least the NOTE date is something a borrower can find instead of using the date Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac securitized the mortgage (which the borrower has no control over).
This is good news for borrowers who have qualified for a HARP refinance and who closed prior to June 1, 2009 but were denied the refi because of when Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac securitized the mortgage.
To make our eligibility requirements more transparent to borrowers, effective October 27, 2013, we will use the note date of the mortgage being refinanced, instead of the Freddie Mac settlement date, to determine eligibility for our Freddie Mac Relief Refinance MortgagesSM offering.
As a result of this change, the mortgage being refinanced must have a note date on or before May 31, 2009. This revised requirement applies to both Relief Refinance Mortgages – Same Servicer and Relief Refinance Mortgages – Open Access, including those originated under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). Loan Prospector® and the Freddie Mac Loan Look-Up Tool will be updated by October 27, 2013, to support this change.
The Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide (Guide) will be updated to reflect this revised eligibility requirement with an upcoming Guide Bulletin.
HARP refinances are available for primary/owner occupied homes, investment property and vacation/second homes as long as the mortgage being refinanced was securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac with a NOTE date prior to June 1, 2009. The NOTE is the document that is signed at escrow with the Deed of Trust. It’s safe to assume that if your conforming (Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) mortgage closed prior to June 1, 2009, that IS eligible for a HARP refinance. The previous cut-off date, which was based on securitization, did not provide that assumption.
HARP refinances often do not require an appraisal and allow for expanded loan to values (negative equity).