The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), launched jointly by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the US Treasury Department set certain new eligibility guidelines for Michigan homeowners who had bought houses on loans and were subsequently unable to be eligible for refinancing because of downward spiraling home values. This was a major hindrance in refinancing their present mortgages with lower interest rates and/or having a more valuable mortgaged product.
With changes announced in HARP eligibility guidelines (now called HARP 2.0), more and more home owners will now be eligible for HARP.
The elimination of the 125% loan-to-value for fixed rate Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae mortgages and the exclusion of appraisals for new properties where there is already a reliable Automated Valuation Model or AVM are two such major changes that will make more people eligible.
Risk-based fees that discouraged borrowers from taking short-term mortgages have been eliminated and this will help those with loans valued at more than the value of their house.
This will reduce not only interest rates but also lower monthly installment payments, creating equity faster.
The goal of the newly modified HARP 2.0 Program is to help stabilize the real estate market and encourage more people to buy homes on loans.
2. Freddie or Fannie should have bought your mortgage prior to June 1st, 2009.
3. Borrowers must be current on their mortgage for the last six months, and have no more than one late payment over the past year.
4. The mortgage must not have already been refinanced through HARP in the past, unless it happens to be a Fannie Mae loan that underwent a HARP refinance between March and May 2009.
5. Must Not be a USDA, FHA or Jumbo Mortgage
6. If the Michigan homeowner refinances into a fixed-rate mortgage, no Loan-To-Value (LTV) limit applies. However, if the new loan is an adjustable-rate mortgage, the borrower’s LTV cannot exceed 105%.
If you believe your loan type or situation is a special case, please give us a call at 810-606-1075 Ext. 15 to discuss your options.
Determine If Your Loan Is Backed By Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
Unfortunately, Michigan homeowners rarely know who "owns" their mortgage loan. Normally, homeowners receive their monthly statements, and make their monthly payments, to their mortgage servicer. This is usually not the company that provided the funds originally to make the loan.
You can check "lookup" forms on the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac web sites. However, keep in mind that these web forms are not always accurate as the address would have to be exactly the same as was recorded with Fannie or Freddie.
Your Next Step
Apply For The HARP Program – Making Home Affordable Refinance
Getting approved for a HARP 2.0 refinance involves the following steps:
Step 2: Print the HARP 2.0 Checklist
Step 4: Meet with Jeff Tufford to go over the final numbers, closing date, etc.