HARP 2.0 Common Questions & Answers
HARP is the acronym for Home Affordable Refinance Program. The program aids California home owners whose home property values have dipped over the last two years to refinance their homes by way of fixed loans with payment of lower monthly installments. It is also known as the Making Home Affordable Program.
How do I check whether Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae are holding my mortgage?
They both have "lookup" forms on their websites. Check Fannie Mae's first because Fannie Mae has a greater market share. If you don’t get a match, then Freddie Mac’s site will definitely answer your question. Freddie or Fannie holding your mortgage, is just a pre-qualifier and does not make you automatically eligible for HARP aid.
Or, you can have us check for you:
What if I can’t find my records using the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac lookup tools?
This may show that you are ineligible for HARP assistance. However, keep in mind that these lookup tools are not always accurate as the address would have to be exactly the same as was recorded with Fannie or Freddie. Even if you find that you are ineligible, the possibility of getting a regular refinance at lower rates still exists, and you need to check your options. Just give us a call at 805-642-7089 and we can discuss options.
If I'm behind on my mortgage can I still be Eligible for HARP?
No. Your mortgage must be absolutely current to make you eligible for refinancing your California mortgage through HARP.
Does HARP protect me from foreclosure?
No. HARP cannot stop or delay foreclosures. It has been created to give California homeowners who are current with their mortgage payments the ability to refinance into lower mortgages after losing home equity.
Do I have to use my current lender with HARP 2.0?
In most cases you may choose any lender you wish or select the existing servicer to originate it.
What are the basic requirements for HARP-eligibility?
First, your home loan must be paid on-time for the prior 6 months, and at least 11 of the most recent 12 months. Secondly, Freddie or Fannie should have bought your mortgage prior to June 1st, 2009. Thirdly, you have never used a HARP mortgage refinance before. You are allowed only one HARP refinance per mortgage.
When does the HARP 2.0 Program end?
You must close your HARP 2.0 refinance by September 30th, 2022.
Is HARP of any use to me if I am really underwater in terms of my mortgage?
Yes, it is. There is no loan-to-value restriction as long as the new mortgage is a loan with a fixed rate with a thirty-year term or less. An adjustable-rate mortgage fixes the loan-to-value at 105%.
What are the HARP program’s mortgage rates?
Mortgage rates for the HARP program are the same as for a “traditional” refinance. There is no “premium” for using the HARP program.
I rent out my home, is it eligible for the HARP 2.0 Refinance?
Yes. You can refinance your investment property, even if it once was a primary residence.
How about my vacation home?
Yes. You can refinance your vacation home as well.
I have recently divorced, can I remove an ex-spouse from my mortgage with the HARP 2.0 refinance?
Maybe. HARP guidelines for removing an original borrower are restrictive. Also, the ex-spouse will need to be removed from the deed and have NO interest in the property.
Are condominiums eligible for HARP refinancing?
Yes, condominiums can be financed with the HARP refinance program. Warrantability standards still apply.
Can I consolidate mortgages with a HARP refinance?
You cannot consolidate multiple mortgages with the HARP refinance program. It’s for first liens only. All subordinate/junior liens must be resubordinated to the new first mortgage.
My home is currently listed for sale. Can I still apply for HARP?
Yes. Although Fannie Mae policy prohibits the refinancing of homes that are currently listed on the market, this policy can be waived for Refi Plus transactions.
I am unemployed and without income. Am I HARP-eligible?
No. Income verification is required for the HARP refinance program.
Is there a minimum credit score to use the HARP program?
No, there is no minimum credit score requirement with the HARP refi program. However, you must qualify for the mortgage based on traditional underwriting standards.
I put down 20% when I purchased my home, and now my home is under-water. If I refinance with HARP 2.0, will I have to pay mortgage insurance now?
No. If your current loan does not require mortgage insurance, then HARP will not require mortgage insurance.
Can I finance or “roll” my closing costs into the loan with a HARP 2.0 refinance?
Yes. The mortgage balance can be increased to cover standard closing costs in addition to other costs due at closing such as escrows and daily interest.
How do I apply for the HARP program?
Step 1: Find out if your mortgage is owned by Fannie or Freddie & Eligible For The HARP Program
Step 2: Print the HARP 2.0 Checklist
Step 3: Submit your HARP Online Application
Step 4: Meet with Pat Mihevic to go over the final numbers, closing date, etc.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to call my office at 805-642-7089 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I am here for you!