What is HARP ?
Harp stands for Home Affordable Refinance Program. It was started in April 2009. Its main goal is to help people that have either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac backed 1st mortgages refinance to lower rates and payments.
What is HARP 2?
HARP 2 is simply the ‘updated’ version of the program which becomes available in March 2012. The main difference in the two programs is that HARP 2 eliminates the need for any specific equity in the home…ie, you can be “underwater” on your mortgage- owe more than the home is valued at and qualify for today’s rates.
How do I find out if I have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan? That’s not who I pay each month.
Fannie and Freddie have ‘look up’ tools on their respective websites: Check www.fanniemae.com first because their market share is larger. Then check www.freddiemac.com
I am underwater on my mortgage. Can I use HARP2?
Yes you can. There is no loan to value restriction under the HARP 2 program coming out in March 2012 so long as your new refinance loan is a fixed rate with a 30 year term or less. If you choose an adjustable rate loan, your loan to value is limited to 105% of the estimated value of your home.
No, I am really really underwater on my mortgage, so to be clear, can I use the HARP 2 program?
Yes. I am really really sure. The new HARP 2 program specifically has no loan to value restrictions. So technically you can be 150%, 200%, 300% underwater on your mortgage, and you can still be HARP eligible for a new fixed rate refinance.
How do I apply for a HARP 2 loan?
Click here for a short application and one of our agents will get in touch with you soon.
Will HARP 2 help me avoid foreclosure?
No. HARP 2 is not designed to stop foreclosures. Its main goal is to give those who are current on their mortgages, but who have lost equity in the last few years, a chance to refinance to today’s lower rates.
If my mortgage is held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, am I guaranteed eligible for the program?
Not necessarily, but most likely…there are a few criteria.
What are the eligibility requirements for a HARP 2 loan?
The main requirements are:
1. Your current 1st mortgage must be backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
2. Your current mortgage must have been closed by June 1, 2009.
3. Your mortgage must have been paid on time for the last 6 months, and 11 of the last 12 months.
4. You have not used the HARP program before- only one HARP refinance per mortgage.
Is there a minimum credit score requirement for the HARP 2 program?
No, there is no minimum credit score requirement under this loan. But you must still qualify based on normal underwriting credit standards.
If I refinanced with HARP 1 a few years ago, can I use HARP 2?
No, can only do it 1 time per home.
Is HARP the same thing as Making Homes Affordable plans?
Yes, the names are used interchangeably.
Do I need to get an appraisal for the HARP 2 program?
Maybe… maybe not. Even though your current home value does not matter under HARP 2, lender will at least do an AVM (automated valuation model) on your home. The lender may choose to do an actual appraisal still, just to make sure it’s in good physical condition.
Do I have to use my current lender for a HARP 2 refinance?
Absolutely not. You can choose to work with any mortgage lender who is participating in the program.
My current bank/lender says they’re the only ones who can do my HARP 2 refinance, is that correct?
No, that‘s not correct. There may be very very few instances where the borrower is restricted from shopping for the best rate. It’s possible the call center person you’re speaking with is just not knowledgeable about the HARP program or current mortgage guidelines.
I have a rental property- can I use the HARP 2 program for that? Even if that mortgage is underwater?
Yes, you can refinance rental properties under the HARP 2 program, even if you owe more than it is worth.
I have more than 10 rentals with mortgages on them now. Can I use the HARP 2 program?
Yes you can. There is no limit to the number of properties financed under the new HARP 2 program coming out in March 2012. Seriously, there is no limit to the number of financed homes.
Are condos eligible for HARP 2 financing?
Yes condos are eligible. Warrantability standards still apply though.
Can I roll in closing costs on this HARP 2 loan?
Yes you can roll in closing costs into the new loan amount.
I used a lite doc or stated income loan to qualify years ago. Will my income be verified with this new HARP 2 program?
No. Current guidelines say your income will not be verified via this program unless your new principal and interest payment increases by more than 20%.
I have a 2nd mortgage right now also. Can I combine that with my 1st under this HARP 2 program?
No. It’s for 1st liens only. All subordinate financing must be re-subordinated to the new 1st.
I want to get cash out or pay off some credit cards also. Can I do that under the HARP 2 program?
No. It’s for 1st mortgage refinances only. Its goal is to allow people who have lost equity, sometimes a lot of equity, to refinance to today’s mortgage rates.
What are the rates under this new HARP 2 program?
Mortgage rates for this program are the same s the ‘traditional’ refinance rates. There is to be no premium for using the HARP 2 program.
Can I refinance my second home with the HARP 2 program?
Yes. Primary, investment and second homes are eligible for this program.
What’s the largest mortgage amount for the HARP 2 program?
HARP 2 follows conventional loan guidelines- in most areas of the country it is limited to $417,000.
When does this HARP 2 program end?
If you’re eligible, you must close your loan prior to January 1, 2014.
How do I apply for the HARP 2 program?
Click here for a short app and one of our representatives will get back to you shortly.