Due to expire on December 31st, 2013, the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0) has been extended an additional 2 years to December 31st, 2015.
HARP 2.0 is the expansion of a refinance program available to underwater homeowners that meet very specific qualifying criteria. Most lenders and investors offer variations of the full qualifying criteria of the HARP program. For complete qualifying guidelines for the program, you can get this information on the Government website at www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov
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Are you Eligible for HARP 2.0?
Very few lenders offer the HARP 2.0 program to the full extent of what the actual expansion guidelines allow. It is important to know that if one lender cannot qualify you, it may not mean that you are not eligible for the program, you simply may not qualify under that specific lender’s limitations with the program.
Not all lenders can offer all features of the HARP 2.0 program
This is an important distinction to make so that you do not lose your motivation to lower your payments if your search takes you to lenders that cannot offer solutions for your specific situation.
HARP 2.0 Qualifying
As a direct lender in California, we offer the HARP 2.0 loan program to underwater homeowners that meet the following criteria:
- No debt to income ratio limits
- No appraisal required
- Loan must be owned by Fannie Mae
- Original loan must have been taken out on or before May 31st, 2009
- Current loan cannot have private mortgage insurance (new MI not required)
- Current loan balance cannot exceed 150% of the value of the home
- No limit on number of financed properties
- No condo certification required
- Owner occupied / Second home / Investment homes Ok
- 1 to 4 Unit residential properties allowed
- No late payments in past 6 months
Streamline HARP 2.0 and HARP 3.0 Rumors
Homeowners with FHA and VA home loans can be eligible for a streamline refinance that requires very little cost or documentation.
There is legislation being proposed now to modify the qualifying guidelines to more closely mimic these streamline refinance programs.
There has also been rumors since before the last Presidential election of a HARP 3.0 underwater refinance program that allow homeowners whose loans are not owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to refinance under current HARP program.
The extension of the expiration of the HARP 2.0 program causes me to be cautiously optimistic about the continued efforts to streamline and expand this program to help even more underwater homeowners.