Home Affordable Refinance Program
Even if your home is "underwater" you may be able to refinance
and lower your monthly payments!
The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) is a federal
government program that enables qualified homeowners with
government-backed mortgages to refinance at today's record low
HARP is available through participating lenders such as New Penn
Financial. In addition, New Penn Financial is one of
the few companies able to offer the HARP program to homeowners who
may have Mortgage Insurance on their existing
Introduced in 2009, the program was designed to help homeowners
who owed more than their home was worth to refinance into a new
affordable, more stable mortgage. The federal government broadened
refinancing guidelines in November 2011 in order to make more
homeowners eligible. Even those who did not qualify in the past
might be eligible with today's HARP:
HARP restrictions loosened
- The "ceiling" requirement that homeowners owe no more than 125
percent of their home's worth was eliminated
- Some fees were eliminated
- The deadline for refinancing was moved to December 31,
An overview of homeowner requirements
- Your mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or
- You do not have an FHA, VA or USDA loan
- The current loan-to-value ratio on your mortgage must be
greater than 80 percent
- No missed mortgage payments in the past six months
- No more than one missed mortgage payment in the past 12
Find out if you're eligible
If have been unable to refinance because the value of your home
has declined, you may be eligible to refinance through HARP.
Call 888-673-5521 to see if you qualify for a HARP refinance
loan and get a personalized rate quote.
Don't miss this once in a lifetime opportunity!
More background on H.A.R.P.
The Obama administration developed the Home Affordable
Refinance Program (HARP) back in 2009 as a response to the
recent collapse of the national housing market. At that time,
homeownership had become increasingly unaffordable for citizens
across the country, as foreclosure rates began to skyrocket and
borrowers increased lending restrictions. As a result, more and
more people were falling far behind on their monthly mortgage
payments or abandoning dreams of owning a home altogether.
By enacting the HARP loan program, the president
intended to help a wide swath of borrowers who had found themselves
stuck with a mortgage they could no longer afford. Homeowners with
loans from government-secured entities (GSEs)
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae would be able to potentially refinance
their mortgages to loans with significantly lower interest rates.
The program was intended to keep borrowers in their houses, and
improve the national economy by helping people restructure their
Didn't qualify the first time? Big changes were
The program hit a few initial stumbling blocks. In 2009, when
President Barack Obama first announced his plan, he had estimated
the initiative would help between 4 and 5 million homeowners attain
lower monthly interest payments. However, up until November 2011,
the program had only helped a few hundred thousand borrowers
refinance their loans. This meant that the ambitious program was
probably not ambitious enough.
The program was then rebranded HARP 2.0 after the GSEs and
President Obama announced that they would be making key
modifications to the program to help a significantly larger
audience participate. The changes announced in November 2011
included removing the 125 percent loan-to-value (LTV) cap placed on
the kinds of mortgages that were previously eligible for a
HARP loan. This meant that borrowers who had applied
to refinance their mortgages under the original HARP
guidelines, but were rejected, may now qualify.
Underwater on your mortgage? Here's how HARP can
One of the biggest problems dragging down the housing market has
been a dip in home values nationwide. Residents who may have bought
their homes before the crash of the housing market have found
themselves paying monthly interest on loans that far exceed their
current market value. Should these borrowers wish to sell their
properties, they would be stuck with a huge loss on their mortgage.
Staying in their houses, however, may be increasingly unrealistic
for these homeowners, as their monthly interest payments may
reflect a financial outlook that was much rosier when they
initially signed for their property.
If their loans are from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, borrowers may
find that the HARP 2.0 program guidelines are now
increasingly more inclusive no matter how underwater they are on
their mortgages. Even if a homeowner's loan is valued at more than
125 percent of their property value, an underwater borrower with
good credit may still qualify for help with this government
How long will HARP be around? At least until the end of
2013, and the government continues to do more
Since the program was enacted in 2009, HARP loan
rates have reached all-time average lows repeatedly. This
means that many borrowers who have successfully refinanced their
loans through HARP have seen their monthly payments dashed
significantly. Originally, the program was set to expire by
December 2013, assuming that much of the problem with the market
will have been solved by that point.
However, the government has continually made strides to increase
success in the housing market, meaning that programs like HARP will
continue to help the economy move forward. Congress is constantly
floating new ideas to stimulate the economy that may be enacted,
such as the modifications under HARP 2.0 were. At New Penn
Financial, we have experience navigating through these changes and
helping homeowners devise plans that can potentially help them get
back on their feet.