As we have detailed in recent weeks, the HARP refinance program has now been expanded to allow more homeowners the option to refinance and take advantage of historically low interest rates. The program is a government backed initiative to allow borrowers who could previously not refinance, due to lack of equity or being upside down in their homes, to now do so.
HARP 2.0 is now set to officially become available to borrowers who have loans that are serviced by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, with no restrictions on value. In other words, the current appraised value of your home will not disqualify you from refinancing, regardless of value.
In recent weeks we have provided answers to commonly asked questions about HARP 2.0 and we continue with more questions and answers this week. If you would like to see articles from previous week, please visit our blog at: http://activerain.com/blogs/vbkamb
Question #1: Can I refinance into a HARP mortgage if my current loan has mortgage insurance?
Answer: Yes, you can refinance your home, even if your loan has mortgage insurance. In previous versions of HARP, there were issues with refinancing loans that have mortgage insurance, but that restriction has now been lifted and even homeowners with mortgage insurance can now refinance using the HARP refinance program.
Question #2: Since I owe more than 80% of the value of my home, will my new home loan through HARP force me to obtain mortgage insurance?
Answer: No, you do not need to obtain any mortgage insurance, if you do not currently have mortgage insurance, by refinancing through the HARP program. Normally, if you have a loan that is more than 80% of the value of your home you are forced to obtain mortgage insurance, but under the HARP program, you do not need to get mortgage insurance, regardless of the value of your home. This is beneficial for homeowners who are very upside down on their home. But this is also beneficial for homeowners who may want to refinance, but owe more than 80% of the value of their homes, but are not upside down. Normally, these homeowners could refinance, but with mortgage insurance. By using HARP, the need for mortgage insurance is eliminated for these homeowners as well.
Question #3: Do I have to use my current bank or mortgage company to complete the HARP refinance on my home?
Answer: No, you can use any mortgage lender who has access to the HARP refinance program. Not all lenders participating in the HARP program, but you will find many options to complete a HARP refinance, just like a regular mortgage refinance. The HARP program is a government backed refinance initiative and so you can choose which lender you would like to refinance your loan.
As always it makes sense to speak to a licensed mortgage lender, such as Strategic Mortgage, about current home loan options. In future weeks, we will continue to provide additional updates on the HARP 2.0 program as they become available.
For more information on home purchase loan or refinance programs for existing and potential home owners, please contact Bill Kamboukos of Strategic Mortgage at (480) 219-3682 or by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.strategicmtgaz.com