HARP 2.0 exceeds FHFA’s expectations

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.


  1. while I agree that the harp 2.0 program has helped lots of underwater homeowners, it seems like there is still room for improvement. Specifically, there needs to be more ability for smaller/medium sized lenders to compete with the big banks/servicers who many times tell consumers that they can only refinance with them in cases where they are more than 125% under water. Technically, I realize that there are certain investors who will accept these 125%+LTV harp loans however they also usually require an automated underwriting approval which in many cases is hard to come by with a very-high LTV. That being said, the Gov should require that LP/DU grading factor in more lenient LTVs since that is the whole reason for the program being invented (in my opinion). Again, I like what the program has done for homeowners thus far and I hope the next version is even stronger.

    My 2 Cents. Thanks!
    Joe in Michigan

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