What is the HARP Program?

I am going to interrupt our current flow to send out some information about the HARP program.  As many have heard the government has announced a program to help current homeowner’s secure these historic loan interest rates, even if their home is “underwater” or you owe more than the home will appraiser for.  This program better known as HARP is available and lenders/mortgage brokers are seeing record high increases in loan applications to see if current homeowner’ qualify.  Guidelines:

HARP Program Requirements

In order to participate in HARP you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Your home mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
  • You must be current on your mortgage, and cannot have made a payment more than 30 days late in the past year.
  • You must have negative home equity (you owe more on your mortgage than your home is worth), and under the new guidelines your mortgage can now exceed 125% of the value of your home.
  • Refinancing must help the affordability or stability of your mortgage.
  • You must have the ability to continue making payments
  • Mortgages owned or guaranteed by the FHA, VA, or USDA are not eligible for HARP.
  • Your property must be 1-4 units.
  • Your property must also be your primary residence. At this time, 2nd homes are not eligible for refinancing under HARP.

The first thing to do to see if you qualify for this program is CALL your mortgage broker so they can start the process.  Step 1 would be to make sure your loan is currently serviced by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.  You can do this yourself. Go to each of their webpages and verify your address. It will list if you are their current customer.  Step 2- you must be current on the mortgage and for the last 1 year (side note, most lender’s do have minimum credit score’s).  Step 3, you have to have negative equity in your home or owe more than it is worth.  These guidelines are being updated regularly, but right now you can’t exceed 125% of the value of your home with the first mortgage.  This loan is only available right now to current homeowners that are occupying the home as their primary residence.  It has to be a conventional mortgage, NOT government backed FHA, VA, USDA.  Step 4, you must be able to qualify with income.  The mortgage broker will need to verify your employment (most lender’s need to see 2 full years of employment).  The good news is you can subordinate or keep your second mortgage and the loan to value or CLTV currently doesn’t matter.  I would encourage everyone with rate’s that exceed 5% to call your broker and see if this program works for you.  You need to weigh the costs associated with the mortgage versus the savings to make sure it is a good fit.  Please feel free to call me to talk about HARP, Kara Holleran 239-246-6000.  I can assist with any refinance in the state of Florida.

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Posted on April 9, 2012, in Finance and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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