Harp Program: The Home Affordable Refinance Program

What is this government refinance program and what are the conditions?

Many homeowners try to refinance their mortgage but are not succeeding for many reasons. Whether you watch the financial news on CNBC or Bloomberg TV, or listen to the local radionews, I’m sure you’ve heard about the existance of government programs aimed at helping home owners who cannot take advantage of low mortgage rates, because they don’t qualify to refinance their mortgage.

This “Harp loan program” is a fantastic opportunity for property owners with mortgages owned by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Maybe you did not get a refinance with a traditional refinance bank, because the value of your home has declined? Or maybe you owe more than the market price of your house? Then the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) may help you to refinance your mortgage.

What is the HARP Program?

The Harp Program is a program especially developped for home owners whose houses have lost value in the last few years and didn’t manage to get a refinance mortgage. Under other circumstances, refinance banks will demand that the equity or value of your property is higher than the mortgage balance before they want to approve any application for a mortgage refinance. But if your house value had gone down during the financial crisis, that is not possible. Thus, the Obama government refinance program was designed for home owners facing this quandary.

When do you Qualify for the HARP Program?

In order to qualify for the HARP program, your mortgage must either be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.  Additionally, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. You don’t have an VA, FHA, or USDA loan
  2. Last year, you were never more than 30 days late for your mortgage payment.
  3. You are current on your mortgage payments
  4. Your mortgage is for a larger amount than the value of your home right now.
  5. The outstanding amount of your mortgage is not greater  than 125% of the current value of your house.
  6. You can prove that you are able to pay for the new payments for your refinance mortgage.

Note that if you do qualify for a refinance under the HARP Program (Harp Refi), you still need to submit a loan application. Further, you have to pay a refinance fee, just as if you were obtaining a refinance through other (commercial) channels.  The Harp loan will be underwritten to see if you are qualified to obtain a loan in general.  Just because you meet the criteria listed above, there is no guarantee you will be refinanced under the H.A.R.P Program if you do not qualify for a refinance in the first place.

Some of the great features of this Obama refinance program:

Not only you can get lower closing costs but there are more benefits:

  1. Generally more lenient underwriting
  2. Sometimes no appraisal is required
  3. You can get the same low mortgage rates rates that conventional loans qualifying for.  This includes adjustments for credit score, type of property, etc.)
  4. If Freddie Mac owns your home mortgage, you may not be required to prove your income. NOTE:  If your loan is owned by Freddie, you will have to do your refinance through your current loan servicer.  
  5. No mortgage insurance needed (even if you owe more money than your property is worth)
  6. With a Fannie loan, you can include all your closing costs in the mortgage, except for a credit report fee and an appraisal fee (if required)
  7. a HARP Loan does not require cash upfront.

The HARP loan refinance program is available until December 31, 2013. (Chances are it will be extended again).

Click here to Watch a Video that explains the Harp program short and easy in under two minutes. (Click on the link and scroll down to see the video)

This site offers a lot of tips and resources you can use to get a home lone refinance or how to take advantage of cheaper loan rates.

If you are not eligible for this program, there are still other possibilities to avoid foresclosure

Read this article for more information on how to prequalify for a home mortgage.

this video summarizes it very good:


Discover Here what the whitehouse has to say about refinancing


4 Responses to Harp Program: The Home Affordable Refinance Program

  1. hello!,I love your writing very much! proportion we be in contact extra about your article on AOL? I require a specialist on this space to unravel my problem. May be that is you! Having a look forward to look you.

  2. Thanks for your post. One other thing is the fact individual American states have their own personal laws that will affect property owners, which makes it very hard for our lawmakers to come up with a fresh set of guidelines concerning foreclosure on house owners. The problem is that every state offers their own guidelines which may interact in an unwanted manner when it comes to foreclosure policies.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that often there are plenty of misguided beliefs regarding the banks intentions when talking about property foreclosure. One delusion in particular is the fact the bank needs to have your house. The financial institution wants your hard earned money, not the home. They want the money they gave you plus some interest. Preventing the bank is only going to draw some sort of foreclosed realization. Thanks for your article.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas on this blog. Additionally, a delusion regarding the banks intentions whenever talking about property foreclosure is that the lender will not take my payments. There is a specific amount of time that the bank is going to take payments every now and then. If you are also deep in the hole, they are going to commonly desire that you pay the particular payment fully. However, i am not saying that they will not take any sort of repayments at all. In case you and the bank can manage to work a thing out, a foreclosure course of action may cease. However, in case you continue to neglect payments underneath the new program, the home foreclosure process can pick up exactly where it was left off.

    It’s my opinion that a home foreclosure can have a major effect on the client’s life. House foreclosures can have a 8 to few years negative effect on a client’s credit report. Any borrower who has applied for home financing or any kind of loans for example, knows that the actual worse credit rating is usually, the more tough it is for any decent loan. In addition, it might affect any borrower’s chance to find a quality place to lease or hire, if that gets to be the alternative real estate solution. Good blog post.

    In line with my research, after a the foreclosure home is sold at a bidding, it is common for your borrower to be able to still have any remaining unpaid debt on the bank loan. There are many loan merchants who try and have all rates and liens cleared by the future buyer. Having said that, depending on a number of programs, polices, and state laws there may be a few loans that aren’t easily fixed through the switch of loans. Therefore, the responsibility still lies on the debtor that has had his or her property foreclosed on. Many thanks for sharing your thinking on this website.

  3. Great information on the Harp Refinance Program. Is this working out for anyone on to your knowledge.

    • admin says:

      No, not everyone is eligible for the Harp Program. But there or other government refinance programs too that may work for you. Do some research on the site and you’ll find sth. that could help you to pay your mortgage.

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