300k Homeowners Are About To Miss Out On HARP!
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For many homeowners, September is the last chance they’ll have to refinance their home under the HARP; a program that has helped over 3,400,000 homeowners restructure their mortgage payments.
According the FHFA, there are over 320,000 homeowners that still qualify to utilize the program and they’re trying to get the word out before HARP expires in September.
This article was written to highlight the benefits of the HARP program and raise awareness before the deadline to apply passes.
What Is HARP?
The Home Affordable Refinance Program was launched in March, 2009 in part with over $25b in bank settlement funds to help American’s save money on their mortgage and get out from under “bad” mortgages and high-LTV scenarios where their house ended up decreasing in value after they originally obtained their mortgage.
HARP provides borrowers who may not otherwise qualify for refinancing because of declining home values or reduced access to mortgage insurance, the ability to refinance their mortgages into a lower interest rate and/or more stable mortgage product.
Take a look at the minimum requirements below.
- Underwater on your mortgage?
- Struggling to pay your mortgage bill?
- Affected by the 2008 housing crisis?
Does this sound like you? If so, HARP was essentially created for you!
Melvin L. Watt, Director of the FHFA the agency that oversees the program said this: “This new offering will give borrowers the opportunity to refinance when rates are low, making their mortgages more affordable and thus reducing credit risk exposure for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”
HARP 2.0, which was modified from the original version of HARP (referred to as Harp 1.0) in 2011 to include a larger pool of homeowners in the program and release lenders from liability, the goal being to persuade more lenders to join the lending pool.
Watt went on to suggest that this new offer would be much more valuable to homeowners, as it would bring in more lenders and allow for more homeowners to apply and more money to be saved for millions of homeowners.
He was right. HARP 2.0 was a smashing success to say the least!
That quote was from 2012, shortly after version 2.0 was launched. The government refinance program has since gone on to help over 3,400,000+ homeowners.
Even more staggering is the fact that there is still an estimated 320,000 homeowners that qualify, yet haven’t taken advantage of the program!
How To Apply For HARP?
In order to qualify for this program, borrowers must meet these minimum requirements:
- Can not have missed any mortgage payments in the previous six months.
- Should not have missed more than one payment in the previous 12 months.
- Must have a source of income.
- Will receive a benefit from the refinance such as a reduction in monthly payment.
Although there is no minimum credit score to qualify for HARP, some lenders will require a minimum of 620. However, this should not prevent you from attempting to take advantage of the program. If you meet the minimum requirements for qualification, you owe it to yourself to apply regardless of your credit standing.
If you’re a homeowner that’s currently underwater on your mortgage, or struggling with high-LTV ownership, please take the time to evaluate your options with this program before it expires.
See If You Qualify For Harp
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The Federal Housing Finance Agency regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 11 Federal Home Loan Banks. These government-sponsored enterprises provide more than $5.8 trillion in funding for the U.S. mortgage markets and financial institutions. Additional information is available at www.FHFA.gov