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HARP 2.0: Direct Marketing Outlook

Raymond Bartreau
Apr 24, 2012

Once you have exhausted all of your past clients, contacts and referral partners with the new Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) product, what’s next? You will want to start thinking about other forms of generating new business in the marketplace with this program. There are more than 27 million Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan holders nationwide who have no idea about HARP 2.0. The goal here is to find your audience within this large group and get yourself in front of them, or better yet, get them to come to you. The best way to do this is direct marketing, which consists of a few different options and avenues: Radio, TV, cold calling, direct mail and the Internet. As we all know in the mortgage industry, lenders have guidelines on pretty much every loan product on the market. If you are going to use direct marketing in the mortgage industry, the first thing you want to do is find the amount of homeowners that fit within your lending capabilities, in this case, we are talking about HARP 2.0. Some recent count studies were ran with three of the industry’s leading database compiler/managers of mortgage and here is what we came up with: ►There are more than 27.5 million Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in America right now. ►There are currently more than 11 million Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac homeowners that are upside down on their mortgage (more than 100 percent LTV). ►Two states have more than 1.8 million, four states have more than 475,000, and another 31 states have 45,000-plus homeowners who can be helped. ►Of those 11 million, nearly 60 percent of these homeowners are current right now on their mortgage. ►The other 40 percent-plus could get current and potentially be helped before the end of 2013 if they are educated soon and make the efforts for the next six to 12 months. Depending on your specific lender requirements for this program, you would take these massive databases, and filter them down based upon the criteria you are looking to lend to. FICO, LTV, loan amount, origination date, late(s), no bankruptcies, and many more filters are available when you are looking to create your perfect audience. After extreme HARP 2.0 overlay filtering, we end up with a total of 2.3 million marketable (outbound with addresses) homeowners who may qualify for HARP 2.0. Of those, more than 215,000 homeowners are available to be called after we do a Do-Not-Call (DNC) scrub on the database. Since most of these folks have not seen a mortgage offer over the last two to four years, you should see a pretty good response on any direct mail or outbound call campaign. We are currently seeing more than 2.5 percent responses with marketing campaigns to current Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan holders. Once this new plan launches in full force and major news outlets begin reporting on the program, the excitement should drive direct mail responses up well over the three percent mark. The above-stated numbers provide us with a couple important things to consider. First, there will be at least 11 million homeowners (that you can help) that may be searching online for HARP rates at any given time from now until the end of 2013. It is your job to capture that search, either by your own page or through a company that can help you capture those leads. Second, the above numbers also let us know how many people you can market to through direct mail campaigns, as well as cold calling campaigns. If you set up your direct marketing programs correctly with the right partners, HARP will be bigger than you could have imagined! Raymond Bartreau is chief executive officer of Best Rate Referrals, and founder and chief executive officer of He may be reached by phone at (800) 811-1402 or e-mail [email protected]
Apr 24, 2012
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