Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)

HARP is not a modification program like the other programs that have been discussed.  It is an actual refinance of the property.  The terms of your original Note are not just being modified.  The original Note is being paid and a new Note is being created.  Just like with a regular refinance of a house, refinance fees will apply.

HARP is a program designed to help people obtain a refinance on their home when they have been unable to obtain refinancing through traditional refinance options because the value of their home has declined.  This program contains fairly stringent guidelines:

  • The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac;
  • The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009;
  • The Mortgage cannot have been refinanced under HARP previously unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March-May, 2009;
  • The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%; and
  • The borrower must be current on the mortgage at the time of the refinance, with a good payment history in the past 12 months.

(available at http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/programs/lower-rates/Pages/harp.aspx).

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both provide easy to use websites where you can quickly look up whether your loan is owned or guaranteed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Fannie Mae – www.knowyouroptions.com/loanlookup

Freddie Mac – www.freddiemac.com/mymortgage 

Please see the Warnings about Loan Modifications page.  Applying for a government program will not automatically stop a foreclosure.

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