HARP was started in April 2009, giving homeowners a way to refinance their high interest, sometimes “underwater” mortgages.
The program running right now is a second version, called HARP 2.0.
The above are the basic eligibility requirements. Be aware that most lenders have added guidelines, such as requiring a minimum 620 credit score, or allowing a maximum loan-to-value of 125%.
A HARP refinance will not require you to pay mortgage insurance if you are not currently paying one. If you already have mortgage insurance, then it will be transferred onto the new loan, with no change in cost.
No home appraisal is necessary – for this purpose lenders use AVM, an “automated valuation model”.
While the lender may require income verification just to see you have some source of income, you do not have to “income qualify”.
HARP refinance is not limited to primary residences. It can be used to refinance vacation homes, second homes and investment properties.
If you’re tight on money: closing costs, as well as other monies due at closing can be “rolled” into your principal balance.
The HARP refinance can only be used once, and only to refinance conventional/conforming mortgages. The amount of the mortgage cannot exceed conforming loan limits, which are at $417,000 for most of the U.S. States.
Cash-Out transactions are prohibited.
Consolidating a second mortgage is not allowed. This means that if for some reason the second mortgage refuses to subordinate, the refinance does not happen.
There are no exceptions to “before May 31,2009”.
The HARP refinance is still unavailable to subprime and ALT-A mortgages - see my blog post on Why we need HARP 3.0
Not all lenders are HARP approved. If your current mortgage company says they can’t do it, it doesn’t mean someone else can’t. Always ask for a second opinion.
Apply online now to get started.