The Administration has just announced a major expansion to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) in an attempt to help more homeowners by enabling them to refinance high loan-to-value mortgage loans at current low interest rates. The changes are effective in a few weeks and tens of thousands of homeowners will be eligible for this new program.
To qualify for the enhanced HARP, the existing mortgage loan of a borrower must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and the current balance of the mortgage must exceed 80 percent of the value of the property. The homeowner must also be current on the loan at the time of the refinance and must not have had a late payment on the mortgage in the past six months or more than one late payment in the past 12 months.
The most important enhancement to this program is the removal of the loan-to-value ratio cap for eligible mortgages. Originally, any mortgage that exceeded 125% of the value of the property was not eligible. Now the loan can exceed 125% of the value. This change makes tens of thousands of homeowners eligible to refinance at today’s record low interest rates. Even better, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are eliminating certain loan fees to make the refinances even more attractive.
Want to know if you are eligible for this great new program? First Step is to check to see who owns your home. It must be either Fannie Mae at http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup/ or Freddie Mac at https://ww3.freddiemac.com/corporate/ . Remember what I said in an earlier post? Even if you are not comming up on their website does not mean they don’t own your loan. You may need to call your lender direct and ask them, “Who owns my loan?”
If you are still having trouble and need some assistance, the team at Centurion Mortgage is great. They are always happy to help and can walk you through the never ending maze which we call home lending. If you are interested the assistance is free and there is no obligation for the review. They do suggest you act quickly because lenders are likely to get inundated as soon as the word gets out that the pricing should be better and there is no cap on your equity position. Not to mention you never know how long these record low rates will last.
Until next time…….