What is Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)?
Enacted: April 1, 2009 – for mortgages owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae
Home Affordable Refinance Program or HARP was developed by Federal Housing Finance Agency. The HARP is designed specifically for homeowners who are underwater with the value of their homes, but who are not delinquent or in danger of foreclosure. The program allows homeowners to refinance their mortgage even with LTV (Loan-To-Value) ratio exceeding 80% and to take advantage of the current historically low interest rates.
Since its launch the HARP was changed two times to lower and expand its qualification requirements. HARP 2.0 does not have any limit on negative equity for mortgages up to 30 years. Qualified homeowners are able to refinance and lock in a lower interest rate without PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance).
Purpose of Home Affordable Refinance Program
To allow homeowners with negative home values to take advantage of the current low mortgage interest rates. The HARP program is considered an important step in returning stability to the market.
Goal of HARP
A goal of the HARP program is to remove the maximum 80% LTV barrier for mortgage refinancing therefore giving all underwater homeowners the option to refinance and get lower interest rates on their mortgage loans.
Who may be eligible?
All homeowners who hold mortgage loans guaranteed or owned by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
- The loan must have been acquired by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae on or before May 31, 2009.
- The homeowner must be current on his/her mortgage payments with good past history.
- Current LTV, Loan-To-Value of the property must exceed 80%.
- There must be clear benefit to the homeowner by lowering interest rate or moving from ARM (adjustable-rate mortgage) to fixed rate mortgage.
- The mortgage loan must not have been refinanced under HARP previously.
How to apply?
Find out if your loan is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac by calling your mortgage service company. You can also check this using the loan lookup tools provided on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac websites or calling 1-800-7FANNIE AND 1-800-FREDDIE.
When you determine if your mortgage loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac call a HUD-approved housing counselor at: 888-995-4673 (Hearing impaired: 877-304-9709 TTY) to help you understand your options, prepare your application, and work with your mortgage company.