Government officials amended the Home Affordable Refinance
Program (HARP) last fall in order to allow more homeowners to
lower their monthly loan payments through a mortgage refinance.
But, perhaps because the program is so new, many underwater
borrowers have yet to take advantage of HARP.
Lending Cafe reported that the number of HARP refinance
agreements had doubled in the first quarter of 2012 to 180,000,
following changes to the program last fall that expanded access to
borrowers who are deeply underwater and owe more than 125 percent
of their home's original value.
According to new figures provided by the Federal Housing Finance
Agency (FHFA), which administers the HARP program, only 4,400
borrowers with loan-to-value ratios of more than 125 percent have
refinanced. Considering that some 1.2 million total borrowers have
used the HARP program to refinance since its inception, only 0.3
percent of those borrowers are above the 125 percent threshold.
Part of the problem, according to housing experts quoted in The
Wall Street Journal, is that some lenders have increased their
credit standards for loans that are backed by Freddie Mac, but not
for those backed by Fannie Mae.
"[Freddie Mac has] worked with our regulator to align our
programs so there shouldn't be significant differences," spokesman
Brad German said. "We continue to work with our lenders as they
implement HARP 2.0 to help them help more borrowers.
At New Penn Financial, our mortgage professionals are qualified
to facilitate a HARP refinance and can assist homeowners with any
of their borrowing needs. If you give us a phone call or send us an
email today, we can begin working with you to meet your lending
HARP Refinancing Nearly Reaches 200,000 Threshold In First
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