Posts Tagged ‘HARP 3’

Last year to use HARP

January 6, 2015

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As posted on The Mortgage Blog in late 2014, interest rates are still around their lowest levels from 2014. That’s great news for home owners who are upside-down on their loans.

The Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, is entering its final year (well, unless Congress extends the program again). HARP allows homeowners who are underwater to refinance into a lower rate. Combine a loan program for underwater homeowners with low rates, and it is a win for homeowners. How do you qualify for HARP?

If the home was purchased and securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac before June 1, 2009, AND the monthly mortgage payments have been paid on time for the past 12 months, you probably qualify for HARP. It doesn’t matter if you have a second mortgage or pay monthly mortgage insurance on your loan, you could still qualify for HARP.

You might be thinking… “I’m really underwater. I can’t qualify.” Just know homeowners can be way, WAY underwater. There is no limit.

Also, homeowners who did not have private mortgage insurance (known as PMI) on their loan initially can still refinance even without 20% equity in their home today. There would not be PMI on their new loan.

If you missed the historically low rates of 2012 and 2013, you may want to act quickly.  Rates are unlikely to return to those historic low levels, and they at the just about the lowest levels seen since May 2013.

To get started, contact me to talk about the pros and cons of HARP. Together, we can determine if you qualify for the HARP program.   It’s the best way to lower monthly payments when you owe more than your home is worth.  Don’t miss this opportunity!

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HARP 3? Maybe!

July 15, 2013

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When HARP was created by the government to refinance homes that were underwater, the goal was for seven million homeowners to use the program. Due to the guidelines, HARP got off to a slow start. Roughly two years after the program began, less than one million homeowners were able to take advantage of it. This caused the government to rework the guidelines, and HARP 2 was born.

By November 2012, HARP 2 was in full swing and the pace of refinancing tripled. Even still, the total number of homeowners able to use HARP is well below the goal of seven million. To help reach the goal, HARP 3 is being proposed. To be clear, nothing has passed Congress. That means HARP 3 doesn’t yet exist, but it is gaining traction.

Here are some of the potential changes to come with HARP 3:

  1. Expand HARP to include all loans and not just those owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This would include subprime, Alt-A, stated income/asset, and no doc loans.
  2. Eliminate the cutoff date of May 31, 2009 and allow all qualifying homeowners to use HARP.
  3. Allow homeowners to take advantage of HARP more than once. Homeowners who used HARP when it first came out got a rate in the mid to upper 4’s. As we all know, interest rates dropped into the 3’s, but homeowners who had already used HARP couldn’t take advantage of these historically low rates.
  4. Allow high balance loans to use HARP.

As I said, nothing is imminent as the proposed changes have not been approved by Congress. We at least know some of the proposed changes. Once there are concrete details on HARP 3, The Mortgage Blog will certainly let you know.

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New Years Resolution – Do HARP in 2013

December 18, 2012

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The government’s Home Affordable Refinance Program, known as HARP, is slated to run through 2013. If you haven’t taken advantage of HARP yet, time is beginning to run out.

HARP began in early 2009 as a way to help homeowners underwater on their mortgage refinance into the historically low interest rates of the past couple of years. The goal was to refinance 7 million households. Since the number of homeowners qualifying to use HARP wasn’t quite hitting the target, it was revamped into HARP 2 back in late 2011. While the program was overhauled, the date for the program coming to an end wasn’t extended.

While there is talk of an extension and even a HARP 3 (to allow more homeowners to use it), for now it is all talk. To ensure you are able to use HARP, make it your new years resolution to refinance using HARP before the end of 2013.

What is HARP:

  • You must have a conventional loan that is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
  • You needed to have got your loan prior to March 1, 2009 (for Fannie Mae’s version) or prior to June 1, 2009 (for Freddie’s version)
  • Mortgage payments must have been made on time in the last year
  • If you have a second mortgage OR pay monthly PMI on your mortgage, you most likely still qualify for HARP

Those are just the general guidelines. If you bought your home in mid 2009 or earlier, made payments on time, and have a conventional loan, it is worth checking out to see if you do qualify for HARP and can refinance into today’s historically low interest rates. If your home is in Georgia, I can help you get the ball rolling on the refinance. Contact me today to get started.

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