In 2009, the HARP mortgage was created to allow homeowners to refinance their mortgage if they owed more than their home was worth. HARP stands for the Home Affordable Refinance Program. You may also see it referred to as the Obama Refi, and Making Home Affordable program. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have their own version of the HARP mortgage although they are essentially the same thing. Fannie Mae’s version is called DU Refi Plus, and the Freddie Mac program is called the Relief Refinance. The program you end up using will depend on which of these entities owns your mortgage. Rick Bernstein of Assured Mortgage, Inc. is dedicated to helping homeowners throughout Wisconsin save money on their mortgage through the HARP mortgage.
The original HARP only allowed borrowers to finance up to 125% loan-to-value (LTV). Due to the drastic decrease in home values, many homeowners were unable to take advantage of the program. HARP 2.0, released in 2012, removed the LTV cap for fixed rate mortgages. This made HARP accessible to millions of additional homeowners.
Qualifying for HARP 2.0 in Brookfield
Brookfield homeowners will need to meet a few requirements before they can qualify for the HARP 2.0 program.
- The loan must be owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
- The loan must have a note date no later than May 31, 2009.
- The current LTV must be 80% or higher.
- The borrower cannot have any 30-day late payments in the past 6 months.
- The borrower cannot have more than one 30-day late payment in the past 12 months.
- The mortgage being refinanced has not previously used the HARP program.
HARP 2.0 loans are available as 15-year, 20-year, and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, or 5, 7, and 10 year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM). Those with a current ARM can refinance into another ARM or a fixed-rate mortgage. Homeowners with fixed-rate mortgage will only have the option to refinance into another fixed-rate mortgage.
Most home loans require PMI if the LTV is greater than 80%. One advantage of the HARP 2.0 program is that you do not need to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) when refinancing, even if the LTV exceeds 80%. This only applies to homeowners who are not paying PMI on their mortgage at the time of refinancing. If you are currently paying PMI, you will need to continue doing so. HARP 2.0 does not allow you to refinance out of your PMI.
HARP 2.0 program can be an excellent refinancing option for Brookfield homeowners who are underwater in their current homes. HARP 2.0 will be expiring at the end of 2018 and replaced by individual Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac programs with stricter requirements. If you have been considering refinancing your mortgage, contact Rick Bernstein of Assured Mortgage Inc., your premiere Brookfield mortgage lender, to take advantage of the program before it is too late.