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Refinancing Under HARP

 

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have adopted changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) and you may be eligible to take advantage of these changes. The information below will answer some of your questions about HARP and help you determine if you are eligible. For more information and a no-obligation consultation, contact one of our experienced Loan Officers at 888-562-6865.

What is HARP?

HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) is a program that will allow qualified homeowners to refinance their mortgage into a lower rate loan, even if they have little or no equity or even owe more than the home’s current value. Refinancing to a lower interest rate can improve your financial position by reducing your monthly payment, reducing the amortization period or moving you to a more stable loan product, such as from an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage. 

HARP: Extended and Revised

HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) has been extended until December 31, 2015 with some new guidelines to help homeowners who are underwater with their mortgages. Under the revised guidelines, homeowners with a loan owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac have the opportunity to refinance with any participating lender. The maximum Loan to Value (LTV) cap has been removed for homeowners looking to refinance into a more stable product or shorter term.

FAQs about HARP

Who is my servicer?
Your loan servicer collects your monthly mortgage payments and has responsibility for the management and accounting of your loan. Your loan servicer may also own your loan, but many loans are owned by groups of investors who hire loan servicers to manage loans and handle contact with the homeowners. If you have questions about your loan, or are behind on your payments, you should call your loan servicer at the number on your payment coupon or monthly mortgage statement.

What if my servicer is not participating in the Making Home Affordable Program?
All servicers for loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are required to participate with respect to those loans. But you are not obligated to remain with your current servicer/lender. You have the option of choosing another participating lender.

How do I know if I am eligible for a refinance under HARP?
You may be eligible if*:
• Your mortgage is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
• The mortgage MUST have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
• The mortgage CANNOT have been refinanced under HARP previously, unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March-May, 2009.
• You MUST be current on your mortgage at the time of the refinance, with no late payment in the past six months and no more than one late payment in the past 12 months.
• You have a reasonable ability to pay the new mortgage payments.
• The refinance improves the long term affordability or stability of your loan.
*Eligibility criteria are for guidance only. Other restrictions may apply. Speak with a Loan Officer to determine if you are eligible to refinance under HARP 2.0.
 

Will refinancing lower my payments? How might HARP benefit me?
The objective of a refinance under HARP is to provide creditworthy homeowners who have shown a commitment to paying their mortgage the opportunity to get into a new mortgage with better terms.

Homeowners whose mortgage interest rates are much higher than the current market rate should see an immediate reduction in their payments. Homeowners who are paying interest only, who have a low introductory rate that will increase in the future, or who face a balloon payment may not see their current payment go down if they refinance to a fixed rate and payment. These homeowners, however, could save a great deal of money by reducing the amount of interest they pay over the life of the loan.

Refinancing into a more stable fixed-rate loan product and avoiding future mortgage payment increases would likely improve your ability to sustain your mortgage payments over the long-term.

Will a refinance under HARP reduce the amount that I owe on my loan?
No. The objective of a refinance under HARP is to help homeowners get into more stable or more affordable loans. Refinancing will not reduce the principal amount you owe to the first lien mortgage holder or any other debt you owe.

How do I know if my loan is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?
You can check Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s websites, or call their toll-free numbers for confirmation. This information is not a guarantee of eligibility for a refinance under HARP, as other qualifying criteria must also be met.

To inquire about Fannie Mae call 1-800-7FANNIE (8 am to 8 pm ET) or visit http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup/.
To inquire about Freddie Mac call 1-800-FREDDIE (8 am to 8 pm ET) or visit http://www.freddiemac.com/mymortgage/.

I am delinquent on my mortgage. Will I qualify for a refinance under HARP?
No. Homeowners who are currently delinquent or have been more than 30 days overdue during the past 12 months generally will not qualify. If your mortgage is with Mortgage Center, click here to see what options may be available to you.

Will I need mortgage insurance?
If your existing loan has private mortgage insurance, you will need the same amount of insurance coverage for a refinance under HARP. If your existing loan does not have private mortgage insurance, it will not be required as part of a refinance under HARP.

How long will refinances under HARP be available?
The program expires on December 31, 2015. Your refinance under HARP must have a mortgage note date on or before that date.

Will HARP help me avoid foreclosure?
The HARP 2.0 program may help you avoid foreclosure if you are current on your loan but need a smaller monthly payment due to a potential inability to pay your mortgage. However, if you are currently at risk of foreclosure due to an inability to pay your home loan on time, then you will not qualify for a HARP refinance.

If I refinanced under HARP a few years ago can I refinance again with HARP 2.0?
No. According to the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) your mortgage cannot have been previously refinanced under HARP to be eligible for HARP 2.0 — with one exception:  If  your mortgage was refinanced under HARP 2.0 from March-May, 2009, you are still eligible.

Can I roll in my associated costs and fees into my loan balance?
Yes, you can roll in costs and fees associated with your HARP 2.0 refinance into the principal balance of the loan.

 

888-562-6865

 

To qualify, your loan must be owned by Fannie Mae or Freddi Mac. Restrictions do apply. Contact a Mortgage Center Loan Officer to find out if you qualify today. The interest on the portion of the credit extension that is greater than the fair market value of the dwelling is not tax deductible for Federal income tax purposes and the consumer should consult a tax advisor for further information regarding the deductibility of interest charges.