President Obama to announce drop in FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums

2013-08-06_0653Tomorrow President Obama is expected to announce a reduction in the mortgage insurance premiums for new FHA mortgage loans.

From Bloomberg News:

As part of an effort to expand homeownership among entry-level buyers, President Barack Obama will announce a cut in Federal Housing Administration mortgage-insurance premiums during a speech in Phoenix tomorrow, according to three people with direct knowledge of his plans.

The annual fees the agency charges to guarantee mortgages will be cut by 0.5 percentage points, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the White House hasn’t yet made the announcement.

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Hope for HARP 3.0 and #MyRefi

2013-08-06_0653Today 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.

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Do you have a question for President Obama about housing?

Here’s your opportunity to ask President Obama your question related to housing, including mortgages. Are you wondering why we don’t have HARP 3.0 yet? Or perhaps why HUD does not allow an FHA streamline refi to a shorter term if it increases the payment (even if the borrowers qualify for the increased payment)? Maybe you’re wondering why would bank and credit union loan officers only be registered and held to the same standards as a licensed loan officer?

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Mortgage Update for the week of January 21, 2013

It’s another short week with the Martin Luther King Holiday observed today.

President Obama is also being sworn in for his second term. Many home owners are hopeful that President Obama is successful in getting HARP 3.0 and the “Obama Refi” aka #MyRefi programs that he pushed for in his first term, approved and available for those who need to refinance and do not qualify for HARP 2.0 or streamlined refinances, such as FHA, VA or USDA.

Here are some of the economic indicators scheduled to be released this week:

Tuesday, January 22: Existing Home Sales

Thursday, January 24: Initial Jobless Claims

Friday, January 25: New Home Sales

If you are considering buying a home or refinancing a home located in Seattle, Sammamish, Gig Harbor or anywhere in Washington state, I’m happy to help you! Click here if I can provide you with a no-hassle mortgage rate quote.

Obama Administration considering new Refi Program #MyRefi

The WSJ reports that the Obama Administration is “eyeing” a refi program that would allow underwater home owners who currently do not qualify for HARP 2.0 to refinance their homes. Currently in order to qualify for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (aka HARP 2.0) the existing mortgage must be securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and the “securization” must have taken place prior to June 1, 2009.

According to the article, White House officials and the Treasury would like to include mortgages that were not securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. This program would possibly include non-conventional, “alt-a”,  subprime and mortgages held by private lenders. There is no mention of expanding or removing the securitization date requirement in WSJ’s article, which many homeowners are desperately hoping for (also known as HARP 3.0).

In order for these expanded refi programs to be a reality, using Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, Congress and the FHFA must approve them.  When and IF this happens, I’ll be sure to announce that here at Mortgage Porter. 

Stay tuned! Subscribe in the upper right corner of this blog or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

Mortgage Rate update for the week of November 13, 2012

mortgageporter-economyMortgage rates continue to provide many the opportunity to reduce their mortgage payments or to qualify to a home at extremely low rates. With the re-election of President Obama, it’s also likely we will see expansion of the Home Affordable Refinance Program to HARP 3.0 as well as the governments prolonged purchasing of mortgage backed securities, manipulating mortgage rates at these historic low levels.

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President Obama and HARP 3.0 aka #MyRefi

HARP 3 0

With the re-election of President Obama, in my opinion, the odds of HARP 3.0 becoming a reality improved. HARP is an acronym for the Home Affordable Refinance Program. HARP was created to help home owners who would qualify to take advantage of today’s extremely low mortgage rates and refinance except their homes have lost equity. HARP is available for mortgages that were securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac prior to June 1, 2009. We are currently on version “HARP 2.0” which was offered expanded guidelines from when HARP first rolled out. For more information about HARP 2.0, click here.

At the beginning of this year, HARP 2.0 was expanded in phases to make the program more available for employed and credit worthy home owners. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reduced the requirement for appraisals and made efforts to make the program more for banks and lenders to offer. However, many banks and lenders have not fully adopted HARP 2.0 guidelines as created by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Some will only offer HARP 2.0 home owners who currently have their mortgage serviced by that bank (where they make their mortgage to). And some lenders have limited what types of HARP 2.0 loans they will accept, for example, refusing to offer HARP 2.0 on loans that have existing private mortgage insurance or LPMI. Or by adding overlays to loans they will accept with limits to loan to value or not accept Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac appraisal waivers. Some wholesale lenders are offering HARP 2.0, however, the demand is so great for these borrowers that it’s not unusual for HARP 2.0 refi’s to take several months to close.  In fact a couple of the these wholesale lenders who were accepting HARP 2.0’s with higher loan to values or pmi have either stopped accepting applications until they can catch up with what they currently have in process.

President Obama and members of Congress have been pushing for a refinance program that would go beyond HARP 2.0. This program has been nick-named HARP 3.0 and has been assigned a hashtag of #MyRefi by the White House.

It is anticipated that HARP 3.0 will have many of the same features available with HARP 2.0 along with:

  • expanding or eliminating the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac securitization cut-off date of May 31, 2009;
  • open to mortgages that are not securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, including qualified borrowers who used jumbo, subprime or other alternative programs. 
  • allow borrowers who have refinanced under earlier versions of HARP to refinance again;
  • expand loan amounts to previous conforming high balance limits. Borrowers in the greater Seattle area with loan amounts at the previous conforming high balance limit of $567,500 may qualify for HARP 2.0, however, they often need to bring in cash to close with the current King County loan limit set at $506,000.

President Obama’s refi plan would probably look more like an FHA refinance and would be available to home owners who have lost equity in their home and have made their mortgage payments on time for the last six months. President Obama has been pushing for programs to become more available to home owners so they they can take advantage of today’s lower rates and help our economy.

When and if HARP 3.0 #MyRefi becomes available to Washington home owners, I will be sure to announce it here!  To stay informed, you can subscribe to my blog, follow me on Twitter or “like” me on Facebook.  For a mortgage rate quote or to start a loan application for a refi on your home located any where in Washington state, where I’m licensed, please click one of the links above.

HARP 3.0? Changes proposed to help more home owners refinance #MyRefi

It’s looking like we may eventually see HARP 3.0. This past week, President Obama has issued a “To Do List” for Congress which includes taking steps to make it easier for more Americans to refinance. President Obama says the average homeowner will save $3000 a year by taking advantage of today’s historically low mortgage rates, which would not only help housing, it helps the economy.  

Obama’s refi plan is not new – he’s been pushing this for a few months. If adopted, it would allow “responsible home owners” who do not qualify for HARP 2.0 and are underwater to refinance using an FHA loan. The low payments the White House is using for examples, do not seem to be factoring FHA’s mortgage insurance premiums, which would offset some savings. However, even with the mortgage insurance, many homeowners would benefit from the “Obama refi”.

President Obama is also promoting shorter term mortgages which helps home owners build equity quicker. I hope HUD is paying attention to this. Perhaps they’ll remove the “net tangible benefit” requirements which prevents home owners with FHA insured mortgages from doing an FHA streamline refi from a 30 year fixed FHA insured loan to a 15 year FHA loan – even if the homeowner qualifies for the higher payment! Currently, with an FHA streamlined refinance, the PIMI payment (principal, interest and mortgage insurance) must be lower by 5%. This is our government looking out for us. Again, I’m hoping this changes in light of recent comments by President Obama.

Senators Menendez and Boxer has introduced the “Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act of 2012” in support of President Obama’s To-Do List.

The proposed bill would make the Home Affordable Refinance Program more accessible to underwater home owners by increasing competition. Currently it can be challenging for home owners to find lenders who are willing to go beyond the 105% limits as banks have limited what they’ll allow lenders to do. Mortgage Master Service Corporation recently added lenders who allow us to provide Washington home owners HARP 2.0 refinances without loan to value restrictions.

On Monday, NAMB shared information (via Rob Chrisman) that the proposals would “extend the HARP eligibility date to May 31st 2010. (The bill mentions that May 31st 2010 was chosen because most of the loans originated after this date already have a mortgage rate below 5%.)”.  This would greatly help home owners who just missed the cut-off date of May 31, 2009. With any luck, HARP 3.0 will be based on the closing date of the mortgage instead of when Fannie or Freddie securitized the loan! 

If you would like a detailed mortgage rate quote for your home located anywhere in Washington state, please contact me. Remember, HARP is available for your primary residence, second home, vacation property and investment homes as long as they were securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac prior to June 1, 2009.

If you currently qualify for HARP 2.0, I don’t recommend waiting for HARP 3.0. It may not happen and bank overlays seems to change almost daily on what loan to values they’re willing to go to.

Do you want to stay informed of changes going on in the mortgage industry?  You can subscribe to my blog, follow me on Twitter or like me on Facebook.  Stay tuned!