Help, I Must Refinance but I am Upside Down, can HARP help? (Updated 11/4/11)

Mortgage and Lending with Supreme Lending (NMLS ID #2129) NMLS 557038

Help, I must Refinance, but I am upside down in my Las Vegas mortgage, can HARP help? (Updated 11/4/11)

Please visit for the most current and up to date information regarding the revised HARP guidelines.

Many Las Vegas residents continue to reach out to me for help.  The common question seems to be "I owe more than my home is worth, can I refinance?" or "Can I still refinance if I am upside down in my Home Loan?"  

The current answer is there may be help on the way!  As of October of 2011, there was an announcement regarding the government's HARP refinance that may do better at assisting Las Vegas homeowners that need to refinance their upside down mortgage.

As you may recall a couple of years ago.  The government announced the HARP refinance to help homeowners that were upside down up to 125% of their homes value.  The problem was, by that time in Las Vegas, most of us had blown past that 125% value mark, so we were stuck with no help!

The current talk is that the revised HARP refinance will have NO LIMITS on how upsidedown you are, they will still allow you to capture the lower interest rate if your loan qualifies for the program.  

What is the HARP Refinance?

The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) is the program you have been hearing about in the news over the last couple of weeks and years.  

According to Fannie Mae, the primary expectation for HARP, is that refinancing will put responsible borrowers in a better position by reducing their monthly principal and interest payments or moving them from a more risky loan structure (such as an interest-only mortgage or a short-term ARM) to a more stable product (such as a fixed rate mortgage). 

As November 3rd, 2011, the revised guidelines for the upside down refinance have not been announced and no lenders are doing this refinance above 125% of the homes value per current guidelines.

The current qualifications for HARP refinance are very simple:

  • Your mortgage is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
  • You have the ability to make the new payments
  • You have not been more than 30 days late on your payment within the last year
  • Have a first mortgage not exceeding more than 125% of the homes current market value

What about my current debt load or credit score?

While still important, your current debt load and or credit score are not as important in the HARP refinance as they are in a typical refinance.  So, elevated debt ratios and lower credit scores can still be considered.

What HARP guidelines are expected to change?

  • They may remove the limits on how far upside down you can be
  • They may allow more flexibility with the late payment guideline

How do you know if Fannie or Freddie own your mortgage?  Use these look up tools:

·         Fannie Mae Loan Look Up Tool

·         Freddie Mac Loan Look Up Tool

 When will the new guidelines be announced?

We are expecting to have details on the new guidelines in late November 2011 and are expecting to start submitting refinance applications for this program around December 1st, 2011.

FHFA HARP press release outlining anticipated changes to the program and a great Q & A.

So, I am upside down in my home and my loan IS eligible, now what ?

Contact me right away!

There is no point in waiting, let's get the information ready so when the guidelines come out, we are ready to move forward as quickly as possible.

I can be reached at 702-808-8328!

NMLS 557038


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Renée Donohue
Savvy Home Strategies Realty, LLC-REALTOR®-Estate-Probate - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate Broker -
Great education Rey, thank you!  Listen, is there anything out there for someone upside down and in a second that is a balloon set to recast soon?  Is there anything you can say or do for the mortgage company to hold off until they have enough equity?
Dec 04, 2007 01:23 PM #1
Mary Warren
Las Vegas, NV
Rey, good information...a lot of Las Vegans are in an upside down situation and can use all the information they can get ahold of to help 'turn over'
Dec 04, 2007 03:00 PM #2
R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham
Bank of England (NMLS#418481) - Raleigh, NC
Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)

Excellent post....I appreciate the lesson.


Bob Mitchell

ValueList Real Estate Services, Inc. 

Dec 04, 2007 03:48 PM #3
Rey Gallegos
Supreme Lending (NMLS ID #2129) - Las Vegas, NV
FHA, VA, Home Loans Las Vegas, NV

Renee: As far as the Seconds go I don't think there is much that can be done about that. 

Mary: Yes there are a ton of people in Vegas that are in this situation.  I don't think a lot of them know that there is help out there.

Bob:  Thank you.

Dec 10, 2007 04:03 AM #4
It sounds like you need at kleast 3% equity to get this loan, being a first at 97%, is that rihght? then this is truly not an upside mortgage refiance.  Upside is if you owe MORE than the home is worth correct?
May 03, 2008 01:41 AM #5

Thats exactly what I was thinking Ana.

Nov 26, 2008 02:07 AM #6
Bob Brown

I purchased a home 2 years ago that has lost its value BIG TIME.  My mortgage is 380k and I just had it appraised for 307k.  Is there any help for me in the government plans?

Jun 01, 2009 04:50 AM #7

Hello, I live in Houston Tx. Can your program benefit me or can you refer me to someone in my area?




Aug 02, 2009 07:06 AM #8

I have a condo I bought for 180,000 its worth 70,000 now. I am in a adjustable arm loan.

My wife has a home  loan for a 270,000 its worth 140,000 also adjustable loan. Condo is under my name, home under wifes name, we need to refiance both loans, but we are upside down in both properities can you guys help?

Jul 28, 2010 03:58 AM #9
Mark Werner

Sadly for the past few years only home owners that fell behind had options to get relief on mortgages. If you are upside down by more than 20% and current on your mortgage check out this information.

Jun 05, 2011 05:07 AM #10
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Rey Gallegos

FHA, VA, Home Loans Las Vegas, NV
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