The Government’s Revamped HARP Program For Underwater Homeowners

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Mike & Rita Warfel Real Estate LLC

This is the newest magic wand the government is using to help underwater home owners. This will help if you want to stay in your home, this will give you access to the lower interest rates while they are still available. That will help lower your payments but will not fix the underwater problem of the house being worth less than the amount of the mortgage.

The only way I know is to use the short sale option to sell your house. The home owners that have continued to make payments till the short sale closes are not getting a big hit against their credit rate. A Realtor that is knowledgeable about short sales can explain the mechanics of them, ask around; find out who is helping families lighten their debt burden.

Original content by Daryl Mitchell NMLS 221138

Making Home AffordabieThe Federal Home Finance Agency announced big changes to its Home Affordable Refinance Program Monday. More commonly called HARP, the Home Affordable Refinance Program is meant to give “underwater homeowners” opportunity to refinance.

With average, 30-year fixed rate San Antoio Mortgages still hovering near 4.000 percent, there are more than a million homeowners in San Antonio and nationwide who stand to benefit from the program overhaul.

To qualify for the re-released HARP program, you must meet 4 basic criteria :

  1. Your existing home loan must be guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
  2. Your home must be a 1- to 4-unit property
  3. You must have a perfect mortgage payment history going back 6 months
  4. You may not have had more than one 30-day late payment on your mortgage going back 12 months 

Most notable about the new HARP refinance program, though, is that the government is waiving loan-to-value requirements on a HARP loans. Homeowners’ participation in the program  are no longer restricted by their home’s appraised value. In fact, the new HARP doesn’t even require an appraisal, in most instances.

With the new HARP program, underwater mortgages can be refinanced without LTV limit or penalty.

According to the government’s press release, pricing considerations for the new HARP program will be released on or before November 15, 2011; and lenders are expected to be offering the program as of December 1, 2011.

If you think you may be eligible, first confirm that either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac is backing your loan. Both groups provide a simple, online lookup.

If your loan cannot be located on either of these two sites, your current mortgage is not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and is not HARP-eligible.

The FHFA’s official press release contains an FAQ section. In it, you’ll find minimum qualification standards, as well as information related to condominiums and to mortgage insurance.

The HARP program is meant to help a wide group of homeowners, but each applicant’s situation is unique. For specific HARP questions, be sure to talk with a loan officer. 

Daryl Mitchell  Legacy Mutual Mortgage NMLS 221138


2526 N Loop 1604 W Ste 150

San Antonio Tx 78248

Certain conditions and restrictions may apply call for more details.


Comments (3)

The Keith Kropp and Wayne Rogers Team
Michael Saunders & Company - Sarasota, FL
Nowhere But Here

This program will help a minimum number of families, while nothing is done for the millions who really need some help.  What about the helpless victims who through no fault of their own have been unable to make mortgage payments because they either lost their jobs or their incomes declined dramatically.  The same people who are now more concerned than ever about keeping a roof over their heads and finding enough food to feed their families.  Their credit is shot, they are referred to as deadbeats and they have lost hope.  Many of these folks are peole who have worked all their lives, played by the rules.  While others did not play by the rules and were grandly rewarded, millions of others have been thrown to the wolves.  Will these folks ever get some help?  The economy is not going to get better just helping a fotrunate few.  Until the housing market is back on its feet, the economy will not improve.






Oct 25, 2011 05:17 AM
Mike Carlier
Lakeville, MN
More opinions than you want to hear about.

The program is designed to give more spending money to people who can afford their current mortgage payment.  It's a weak stimulus plan with absolutely no benefit to the housing industry.  The more I see of government housing actions, the more I'm convinced that the housing industry is looked at as a hindrance to their objectives.  If the plan were really designed to help underwater homeowners get out of their underwaterness, the monthly interest savings would be required to be used to reduce principal.

Oct 25, 2011 05:24 AM
Mike Warfel
Mike & Rita Warfel Real Estate LLC - Avoca, MI
Associate Broker

Kieth- I agree with you, this plan is just throwing mud at the wall to see if it sticks, it really is no help. The government would help real estate the most if it would get out of the way. Realtors need to short sale these houses and get the problem out and over with, if banks/ government would let us do what we do best. thanks

Mike - you are so right, as usual for this administration they are helping those that do not need help. We have families up here that have their home values cut by half. The government is in the way, hindering us and holding up a false hope.  Gov agencies are best at producing more paper, more meaningless rules, it is as if they do not know what the problem is. I bet they need another investigation!  Thanks

Oct 25, 2011 05:53 AM