The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to extend the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) by two years to December 31, 2015. The program was set to expire Dec. 31, 2013.
“More than 2 million homeowners have refinanced through HARP, proving it a useful tool for reducing risk,” said FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco. “We are extending the program so more underwater borrowers can benefit from lower interest rates.”
In addition, FHFA will soon launch a nationwide campaign to inform homeowners about HARP. This campaign will educate consumers about HARP and its eligibility requirements and motivate them to explore their options and utilize HARP before the program ends. HARP is uniquely designed to allow borrowers who owe more than their home is worth the opportunity to refinance their mortgage. Extending the program will continue to provide borrowers opportunities to refinance, give clear guidance to lenders and reduce risk for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and taxpayers.
To be eligible for a HARP refinance homeowners must meet the following criteria:
The loan must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009. The mortgage cannot have been refinanced under HARP previously unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March-May, 2009.
The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80 percent. The borrower must be current on their mortgage payments with no late payments in the last six months and no more than one late payment in the last 12 months. Borrowers should contact their existing lender or any other mortgage lender offering HARP refinances. Check here to see if your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have helped approximately 2.2 million borrowers refinance their homes since HARP was introduced by FHFA and the U.S. Department of the Treasury in April 2009.