2011 Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP II)

On November 15, 2011 the government released the new revised plan for the Home Affordable Refinance Program aka HARP II. Read below for an explanation of what HARP is and if you are eligible for this Home Affordable Refinance Program. We offer a free personalized HARP quote for California Residents only.  

What is HARP?

HARP stands for Home Affordable Refinance Program.  The program is also known as the Making Home Affordable Plan, the Obama Refi plan, DU Refi +, and Relief Reliance. This program was started in 2009 and has recently been revised in order to help those who lost equity in their home and are therefore considered having “underwater mortgages”.

The purpose of HARP is to help the responsible homeowners who lost value in their home, but continued making on-time monthly payments. This program will help those homeowners refinance their mortgage to a new lower interest rate and lower their monthly payment.

Who is eligible?

  1. Those whose mortgage was sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac prior to June 1, 2009. Keep in mind, who you make your mortgage payment to does not mean they own your mortgage, they are just simply collecting the payment.
  2. Your home loan must be paid on time for the past 6 months and no more than 1 late payment in months 7 – 12.
  3. You have not refinanced under the old HARP program. If you refinanced previously with HARP then you are not eligible for the revised plan. You may only use HARP once per home.

When is HARP effective?

Loan Applications are being accepted for HARP on December 1, 2011.

What if I have NO equity (Really far underwater)?

With this program you can never be too underwater. This program is meant to help homeowners like you, that have no equity. The great thing with HARP being revised is it helps homeowners who owe more on their home than it’s worth. There is no LTV (Loan to Value) requirement for those who refinance to a 30 year fixed mortgage.  

What if Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac don’t own my mortgage? Can I still refinance with HARP?

Unfortunately this program is only eligible for those who have a mortgage sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac prior to June 1, 2009. However, there is still a possibility you may be eligible to refinance under different requirements. Fannie Mae Look Up Tool & Freddie Mac Look Up Tool

Am I eligible for the Home Affordable Refinance Program if I’m behind on my mortgage?

If you missed a payment in the most recent 6 months you will not be eligible to refinance under HARP. Also, if you were late once in the past 12 months, then you are no longer eligible to refinance with HARP.

Will the Home Affordable Refinance Program help me avoid foreclosure?

This program does not prevent or delay foreclosures. This program is meant to help homeowners who lost home equity, but still made current payments on their mortgage.

Is there a loan-to-value (LTV) restriction for the revised HARP?

There is no LTV restriction for a fixed-rate mortgage with terms up to 30 years.  That’s the great thing! All homes are eligible for the new HARP as long as u meet the minimum requirements discussed above.

If I refinance with HARP using an ARM, do I still get “unlimited LTV”?

No. The “unlimited LTV” is only eligible for those refinancing to a 30 year fixed mortgage. If you choose to refinance using an ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage) then you will have a loan-to-value restriction of 105%.

What’s the biggest mortgage I can get with a HARP refinance?

There are different loan limits depending on your area. Most cities have a loan limit of $417,000. However, there are those few cities that have a loan limit up to $625,000.

Can I do a cash-out refinance with HARP?

HARP is not meant for a cash-out refinance. The purpose of this program is to help those with underwater mortgages to adjust their rate and term in a refinance. You can try to qualify for a different refinance program under different eligibility requirements to do a cash-out refinance.

How do I apply for the HARP program?

You can apply for the HARP program with any lender. If you are a California resident and would like to apply through Stateline Funding Corporation, you can  Use this form to fill out an application and get a free quote from a mortgage broker.

When does the HARP II Program end?

The program has been extended to December 31, 2013.

Do you have to be employed with income to be HARP eligible?

No. With HARP you actually do not need to have your income verified in order to refinance. The only reason you would need to verify your income is if your new principal + interest payment increased by more than 20%. If it increased less than 20% then no income verification is needed.

Is there a minimum credit score requirement to refinance? 

Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac still require their minimum credit score of 620 in order to refinance using the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP II).

Posted on November 16, 2011, in Mortgage and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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