According to Housing Wire, it looks like HARP (aka the Home Affordable Refinance Program) may once again be extended through 2016. The HARP program was created for home owners who have conventional Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgages and who had lost equity in their homes due to the mortgage meltdown, making it impossible to refinance. With HARP, appraisals are often not required and over the past few years, underwriting guidelines have become more relaxed with this program. So why the “so what”?
HARP (aka the Home Affordable Refi Program or HARP 2.0) is set to expire at the end of 2015. HARP is a refinance program that was designed to help home owners who have good credit, income and job stability and would qualify for a refi except for the reduced value on their home.
HARP is available to home owners who have a conventional mortgage securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (this is different than where you make your mortgage payments to).
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).
Today President Obama answered questions submitted by social media savvy Americans which was moderated by Zillow CEO, Spencer Rascoff. It seemed to me the most common questions were concerning HARP 3.0. HARP 3.0 (Home Affordable Refinance Program) is currently a hypothetical expanded version of HARP 2.0 and would allow for more home owners, including those in Washington state, to refinance their homes at present low rates.
Insider Mortgage Finance recently posted this teaser indicating that President Obama is pushing for the eligibility dates for HARP 3.0 to be expanded.
“The Obama administration has sent a message to the mortgage industry that it wants to expand the Home Affordable Refinance Program by changing the eligibility date for high loan-to-value and underwater borrowers who want to refinance loans financed by the government-sponsored enterprises. According to members of the Mortgage Bankers Association who attended a recent pow-wow at the White House, the administration wants to push the eligibility date for HARP into mid-2010 or so”
I say “teaser” because in order to read the full article, you need to $ubscribe.
The odds of HARP 3.0 becoming a reality may be better should President Obama’s nomination of Representative Watt to head the FHFA become a reality.
Currently many home owners who had their mortgage securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac June 1, 2009 or later have not been eligible for a Home Affordable Refinance (HARP).
HARP allows home owners who have lost equity and who would otherwise qualify, to refinance at today’s very low interest rates.
Having the securitization date expanded (if not removed completely) would be of great relief to many Washington state home owners.
FHFA just issued a news release announcing that the Home Affordable Refinance Program (aka HARP) has been extended through 2015. This refinance program created for home owners with conventional mortgages who are “under-water” home values was set to expire at the end of this year.
There is no mention of expanding or removing the June 1, 2009 securitization requirement that has excluded many home owners from being able to refinance their homes (aka HARP 3.0 or #MyRefi).
Here are some of the requirements to be eligible for a HARP 2.0 refinance:
- Your mortgage must be securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. NOTE: this is different than who you make your mortgage payment to (your mortgage servicer). Your may be making your mortgage payment to a big bank and your mortgage is securitized by Fannie or Freddie.
- The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before
May 31, 2009. This is not the same as your closing date and takes place sometimes several weeks after the closing of your loan.
- 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 percent. It doesn’t matter how “under water” your home’s equity is! Often times, no appraisal is required.
- The borrower must be current on their mortgage payments with no late payments in the
last six months and no more than one late payment in the last 12 months
This program is available on owner occupied, second homes and investment property and is available to most mortgages with existing mortgage insurance as long as the above criteria is met.
I’m happy to help you with a HARP refi or any mortgage for homes located in Washington state, where I’m Licensed. Click here for a rate quote.
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.
FHFA has published their 2012 Refinance Report which includes some interesting stats on the Home Affordable Refinance Program (aka HARP 2.0). HARP 2.0 is a program to help home owners who have lost home equity refinance their property as long as the mortgage was securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac prior to June 1, 2009. You can learn more about HARP 2.0 by checking out my guide.
December’s refinance report revealed that since the inception of HARP 2.0, over 2 million home owners have benefited from a HARP refinance.
- 88% of HARP refinances have been owner occupied/primary residence
- 9% have been for investment properties
- 3% were second or vacation homes
According to the FHFA Refinance Report, 25% of the transactions in December were for homes that were significantly underwater, with loan to values over 125%. Almost half the refinances were for homes with loan to values over 105%.
One of the benefits of a HARP 2.0 refinance is that it allows the home owner to refinance without getting new private mortgage insurance regardless of loan to value. If the home owner currently has pmi, it needs to transfer to the new HARP refi (this happens in a majority of cases).
The report states that 18% of those who did a HARP refinance in December 2012 opted for shorter terms (15 or 20 year) instead of a 30 year fixed.
Remember, the HARP 2.0 program is set to expire on December 31, 2013.
If your home is located in Redmond, Renton, Ravensdale or anywhere in the State of Washington, where I’m licensed to originate mortgages, I am happy to help you. Click here if you would like a mortgage rate quote.
I’m pleased to share with you that we are working with lenders who are once again offering HARP 2.0 refinances with no appraisals (no loan to value requirements). Last year, our Freddie Mac resource for loan to values over 105% decided to pull out of the market, we now have another lender who is offering this product without loan to values overlays. This is great news for Washington state home owners who have lost equity in their homes (are underwater) and have a mortgage securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac prior to June 1, 2009.
We also received updated guidelines from one of our Freddie Mac HARP lenders for loan to values 105% and lower offering reduced income documentation and expanded debt-to-income ratio guidelines. It’s nice to see lenders loosen up a bit on some of their underwriting overlays!
Fannie Mae HARP refinances are still readily available.
HARP 2.0 Refinances are available for:
- mortgages that were securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac prior to June 1, 2009
- primary residence, second/vacation homes or investment property
- mortgages that have not yet taken advantage of the HARP refinance program
- existing private mortgage insurance (including LPMI) is allowed in most circumstances
I am required to use the following language if I am soliciting business…and of course, I would love to help you with your HARP (or any) refinance for your home located in Washington State:
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. You can determine whether your mortgage is owned by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae by checking the following websites: www.freddiemac.com/mymortgage or http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup
NOTE: If your Washington state home currently has an FHA mortgage, owner occupied or investment property, we can help you refinance without an appraisal – regardless of your home’s current value.
I’m happy to help you with your home refinance or purchase needs as long as your home is located in Washington state, where I’m licensed to originate mortgages. For mortgage rate quotes for homes other than HARP, please click here.