A couple of Senators have been hard at work trying to help struggling home owners.
The Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act of 2012, the landmark bill to help home owners refinance to lower rates, has been redrafted. Senators Robert Menendez and Barbara Boxer propose to lower closing costs, reduce qualification requirements, and even make it easier to change mortgage servicers with the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).
The most interesting part of HARP 3.0 is its proposal to relax the underwriting guidelines on the home owner's income and employment status. Instead, the borrower’s payment history needs to be good; specifically, current and with no late payments for at least 6 months.
Homeowners need to have a mortgage currently securitized by FNMA or FHLMC on or before May 31, 2009, with a loan to value ratio of at least 80%. The Menendez-Boxer bill also extends the expiration date of HARP 3.0 to December 1, 2014.
These changes could benefit nearly 12 million home owners with loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Are you one of them? Urge your member of Congress to support passage of this bill.