Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 11/4/2011

There is good news on the home front for homeowners whose mortgages amount to more than their home’s value. These underwater homeowners may qualify for a new program HARP, or Home Affordable Refinance Program. Many homeowners have found they owe more than what their home is worth. When the housing bubble burst some homeowners were left with a $250,000 house, for example, but a $350,000 mortgage. HARP was first introduced in 2009 by President Barack Obama but the program is now being expanded to include homeowners who are unable to qualify for refinancing under conventional guidelines. HARP's previous terms included restrictions that eliminated any homeowner whose existing mortgage represented more 125% of the loan-to-value of their home. The new and improved HARP will allow borrowers whose mortgages are backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinance. The new plan still has eligibility limits. Previous homeowners that refinanced under HARP will not be allowed to refinance at the even better rate of 4%. In order to qualify, the mortgage has to be a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and you must be current on all loan payments in the last six months or not have more than one missed payment over the last year. The FHFA, or Federal Housing Finance Agency, is expected to announce final program parameters by November 15.