Underwater Homeowner? See If You Qualify for Refinancing Under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)
The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), originally launched in 2009, was modified October 24, 2011 loosening some of its guidelines for underwater homeowners who want to refinance at today’s low rates.
Two recent conversations with underwater homeowners prompted this post because they told me they ‘heard’ that the revised program had virtually no limits or restrictions. So, basically, they said any homeowner who owes more than the house is worth can utilize this new program. Wrong.
So, what about short sellers who have missed mortgage payments? Or homeowners who have FHA mortgages? Or a homeowner who is unemployed? Sorry…. You’d be ineligible under the revised HARP.
What exactly are the guidelines for being eligible for HARP refinancing? Step through the following general guidelines:
- Your mortgage must be secured by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac prior to June 1, 2009. FHA, USDA and jumbos are not eligible. Use the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lookup tools to see if you’re eligible. Fannie Mae Lookup Tool Freddie Mac Lookup Tool If there is no record of your mortgage, you are not eligible.
- You must be current on your mortgage payments. Payments must have been paid on time for the last 6 months and at least 11 of the most recent 12 months.
- You must be employed as income verification is required.
- There is no minimum credit score requirement BUT all traditional underwriting standards apply.
- There is no loan-to-value restriction. All homes regardless of equity are eligible.
- There ARE conforming limits for every U.S. County. The conforming limit in Fairfield County CT is $575,000 and the New Haven County CT limit is $417,000. See all other CT and U.S. county HARP loan limits.
- You can do a HARP refinance with any participating lender.
- The program does not allow cash out refinance.
- Rental properties, second homes, and condos are eligible.
- You cannot use HARP if you already used it for the same mortgage.
- The program will not delay or stop a foreclosure and cannot be used by short sellers who are behind in payments.
For more detailed guideline information, please contact a HARP refinance participating lender.
Remember, the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) is designed to help homeowners who are current with their mortgage and who have lost equity the opportunity to take advantage of the current low mortgage interest rates. It’s not for everyone. Guidelines DO apply.
Underwater Homeowner? See If You Qualify for Refinancing Under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).