HARP is a federal government program that originated in March 2009. It was designed to help 5 million homeowners who are underwater or near-underwater the ability to refinance into a fixed home loan with a lower monthly payment.
However, many consumers are still unaware of the existence of this fantastic program and the benefit it can provide to them. On Oct. 24, 2011, President Obama announced an overhaul to the HARP program with the goal of reaching more underwater homeowners. The new expanded HARP program (now often referred to as HARP 2.0) took effect on December 1, 2011 for all borrowers with a loan-to-value ratio of less than 125 percent. In the first quarter of 2012, borrowers with a loan-to-value ratio of greater than 125 percent also became eligible.
How to Qualify for HARP 2.0
To be eligible to refinance under HARP, consumers must meet all of the following requirements:
- You must be current on your home loan
- You must have closed your current mortgage on or before May 31, 2009
- Your mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae
- You cannot have refinanced under HARP previously unless you have a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March-May, 2009
- You cannot have made a late payment within the past six months or more than one late payment in the past 7-12 months
How to Find Out If Your Mortgage Is Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
Check both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s websites or call their toll-free phone numbers for confirmation.
Fannie Mae: 1-800-7FANNIE (8 am to 8 pm ET)
Freddie Mac: 1-800-FREDDIE (8 am to 8 pm ET)
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are two separate government-sponsored enterprises (also known as GSEs) that buy and guarantee about fifty percent of all outstanding mortgages.
You can also check online by going to the following websites:
HARP and Foreclosure
Unfortunately if you are at risk of home foreclosure, you will not be able to qualify for the Home Affordable Refinance Program. However, if you are current on your loan but need a smaller monthly payment due to an impending inability to pay your mortgage, then the HARP program could possibly help you avoid foreclosure.
Previous Refinance and HARP
If you have refinanced with HARP a few years ago, your mortgage cannot be eligible for HARP 2.0. Learn more about the HARP 2 Limitations. Keep in mind however that there is one exception to this rule; if you hold one of the few Fannie Mae backed mortgages that were refinanced under HARP from March-May 2009, you are likely still eligible.
You can speak directly with one of our Licensed Loan Officers to help you find out if you qualify for the HARP program. Please call us toll free: 800-LOANS-15 (800-562-6715)
- The current loan must be owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
- The loan must have closed by May 31, 2009.
- The current loan-to-value must be greater than 80% (your loan amount is 81%+ of the home’s value).
- No 30-day late payments in the last 6 months.
- No more than one payment that was 30+ days late in the past 12 months. (Some lenders may require no late payments at all in the last 12 months.)
- You cannot use HARP on the same property twice.