When you have little equity in your home, or owe as much or more on your mortgage than your home is worth, it can be difficult to find a lender willing to help you refinance. But for borrowers who have remained current on their mortgages, and have loans owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, there is hope. It’s called HARP.
Introduced in March 2009, HARP enables borrowers with little or no equity to refinance into more affordable mortgages without new or additional mortgage insurance. HARP targets borrowers with loan-to-value (LTV) ratios equal to or greater than 80 percent and who have limited delinquencies over the 12 months prior to refinancing.
Significant changes have been made to HARP since the program was first introduced, and has been extended through December 31, 2016.
In order to be eligible, you must make sure:
• You are current on your mortgage, with no 30-day+ late payments in the last six months and no more than one in the past 12 months
• Your home is your primary residence, a 1-unit second home or a 1- to 4-unit investment property.
• Your loan is owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. You can use the Loan Look-up Tools below if you are unsure.
• Your loan was originated on or before May 31, 2009. By using the loan look-up tools below, this date will be made available to you.
• Your current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%. Calculate your LTV ratio with this tool.
Is your mortgage owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?
Use their online tools to quickly find out, or call them toll-free:
Loan Look-up Tool:
Call: 800-7FANNIE (8 am to 8 pm ET)
Loan Look-up Tool:
Call: 800-FREDDIE (8 am to 8 pm ET)
Note: Be sure and check your address on both the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac look-up tool. If your address does not appear in the look-up tool of either site, your loan is not owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and you are not eligible for the program.
Contact your mortgage company
Ask if they are an approved HARP lender. Since you are a current customer, your lender already has your loan file. However, they will need you to provide the information necessary to verify your current source of your income.
Steps to Get Started:
1. Gather your financial information (Your mortgage statements, including information on a second mortgage if applicable, and your income details, like paystub or income tax return)
2. Contact your mortgage company. They will need you to provide the information necessary to verify your current source of your income.
3. Contact a HARP lender. Find a list of approved HARP lenders at one of these pages. Tell them you are interested in refinancing, and you want to see if you qualify for HARP.
If you have any questions, or if I can be of any assistance, please feel free to reach out to me. I will be glad to assist in any way possible.
*information comes from http://www.harp.gov/