Monday, November 20, 2017

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Home Under Water and Still Haven't Modified or Refinanced Your Mortgage? Check out HARP 2.0.

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If you still have yet to refinance your mortgage in order to take advantage of historically low interest rates, you may want to take a fresh look at the idea now – before it’s too late.  The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two of the country’s most influential entities when it comes to the secondary market for residential mortgages.  The Obama Administration instituted the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) through the FHFA in 2009 with limited success.  This spring, however, HARP 2.0 was released.  It greatly expands the program and incentives major lenders to participate in the following ways:  
•    Removing the 125% loan-to-value ceiling for fixed-rate mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac;
•    Waiving certain representations and warranties that lenders must make to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac;
•    Eliminating certain risk-based fees;
•    Extending the end date for HARP until December 31, 2013 for loans originally sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.

To be eligible for HARP 2.0, borrowers must meet the following criteria:
•    The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.  In order to determine whether your loan qualifies in this regard, you can perform a search at the following links:  Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
•    The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009;
•    The mortgage cannot have been refinanced under HARP previously unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March-May, 2009;
•    The current loan-to-value ratio must be greater than 80%;
•    The borrower must be current on the mortgage at the time of the refinance, with no late payments in the past six months and no more than one late payment in the past twelve (12) months.

For additional detail about the HARP program, refer to the Phase II Frequently Asked Questions at the following link:  http://www.harpprogram.org/faq.php.