If you're not behind on your mortgage payments but have been unable to get traditional refinancing because the value of your home has declined, you may be eligible to refinance through Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). HARP is designed to help you get a new, more affordable, more stable mortgage. HARP refinance loans require a loan application and underwriting process, and refinance fees will apply.
What To Expect From Making Homes Affordable:
Getting help through the Making Homes Affordable program requires some effort. Homeowners who prepare are far more likely to get their most positive outcome. So expect to visit MakingHomeAffordable.gov learning about your options, your eligibility and the steps you must take to apply for assistance. Learn all you can and become familiar with the features of the programs offered. Find the one you think fits your situation best. The time you spend on this site could pay big dividends for your future as a homeowner.
What to Expect from The Mortgage Company You Choose:
Some of the effort that will be required of you is a commitment to assist your mortgage servicer in every way you can. Your mortgage servicer wants to find a way to keep you in your home. Giving you a loan modification brings them lower returns but the cost is far less than a foreclosure would cost them. So the biggest concern of your mortgage company is whether or not you can comfortably pay the new modified payments. In addition to a standard Initial Package of documents that most HARP Mortgage Companies require, the more information you can provide to assure them that you will be able to make the new payments, the easier it will be for them to review and evaluate your application for a modification.
What to Expect from a Housing Expert:
If you decide to work with a HUD-approved housing counselor, you can expect that they will work as your advisor and advocate. As your adviser, your counselor needs as much information about your situation as you can provide to know which Making Homes Affordable options you should pursue. As your advocate, working with your mortgage company on your behalf, your counselor needs documentation to champion your cause. Your counselor will need documented information about your loan, your financial situation and your prospective income going forward. The more documentation you can provide, the more thorough your counselor can be in finding the best solution for your situation.
Expanded HARP (2.0) Program:
The expanded HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program), also known at HARP 2.0, has been in place since the middle of March when the updates to the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac automatic underwriting systems were completed. To this day, many borrowers who are eligible for HARP are still being turned away and denied the opportunity to refinance to lower mortgage rates. Underwater borrowers must not give up because a successful HARP 2.0 refinance depends on where you look. There really are lenders out there who want to help borrowers and have the guidelines to do so. There is no reason for borrowers to be holding on to older, high rate mortgages any longer now that HARP 2.0 is here.
HARP 2.0 was updated to include mortgages regardless of the loan to value since it is specifically for underwater borrowers. While the original HARP had a LTV cap, the current HARP does not except for adjustable rate mortgages. Although these are the guidelines set by the GSE’s, many of the big lenders are still putting a limit on the loan to value for HARP mortgages that they will approve. Some will not even offer HARP to anyone but their own clients whose mortgages they are already servicing. These issues continue to crop up making it difficult, if not impossible, for many borrowers to refinance through HARP. Other problems and denials occur when borrowers have private mortgage insurance or lender paid mortgage insurance, another issue that many big lenders do not want to deal with.
Obtaining a successful HARP 2.0 refinance depends on where you, the borrower, looks. There is no need to walk or drive from lender to lender to find out if they will assist you. There is no need to stay on the telephone all day calling lenders for information. In the current environment of advanced technology where we use the internet for just about everything in our daily lives, it should be the same when looking for information to obtain a HARP mortgage. With a quick online inquiry that requires very little personal information that does not include a social security number, borrowers are able to receive a response within minutes, maybe even seconds. These connections have resulted in a great number of successful mortgage refinances and satisfied borrowers. There are many participating lenders, other than the big banks, offering HARP with faster turnarounds and easier approvals. Instead of looking for these individual lenders one by one, which is almost impossible for any borrower, the convenience of using the online submission form brings the willing lender to the borrower instead, which produces favorable results for both parties involved. This is what HARP was designed to be; no stress, no waiting, no wasting time looking for help.
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