What is HARP?

by Ted Ricasa on Dec 24, 2013

What is HARP?

A house is one the largest investments the average American family will ever make. Unfortunately, for many families, the housing market crash left them underwater, paying on homes worth significantly less than they owed. To help struggling homeowners and alleviate the damage from the housing market crash, the government started HARP, or the Home Affordable Refinance Program. 

Refinancing with HARP

Many homeowners found themselves owing more than the value of their home. Unfortunately, many bank rules prevented homeowners from refinancing, leaving them forced to pay substantially more than their home may be worth. Most banks require a loan-to-value ratio of 80% or less in order to refinance without purchasing private mortgage insurance. In many cases, homeowners who were underwater were required to purchase private mortgage insurance, which negated most of the refinancing savings. As a result, the US government started HARP. The program was initially started in 2009, allowing homeowners to refinance even if their loan-to-value ratio was as high as 125%. HARP was then overhauled in 2011. Now known as HARP 2.0, the program allows homeowners to refinance mortgages where the loan-to-value ratio is higher then 125%.

Do I Qualify?

Are you currently underwater on your home mortgage? If so, you may be interested in the services offered through HARP. The simplified HARP 2.0 cuts back on many of the stringent requirements previously needed to qualify. First, you must owe more than your home is worth, but remain current on payments. Additional requirement include:

·      A loan-to-value ratio higher than 80%

·      The mortgage needs to be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac

·      The mortgage must have been acquired by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009

·      You must be able to pay the new payment amounts

·      The mortgage has not been previously refinanced under HARP

If you meet these qualifications, contact HARP today. You can also talk to the experts at Fast Home Help, we can answer questions about refinancing options and guide you through the process.

About Fast Home Help: Our real estate professionals at Fast Home Help will provide you with the information you need, when you need it the most. To learn more about the value of your property, request a free, no-obligation Property Privacy Audit™

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