Zillow Inc. has revealed a new look, tools and features to its popular Zillow Mortgage Marketplace app for iPhone and iPad. The app is now the first and only mobile app to provide mortgage holders with details, information and loan quotes for the special underwater refinancing programs, the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) and FHA Streamline Refinance. These loans, formerly available only on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace on the desktop or by contacting an individual lender, benefit underwater homeowners–those who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are currently worth.
"More than one-quarter of homeowners with a mortgage are in negative equity, so easy access to programs that can help them refinance is essential," said Zillow Mortgage Marketplace Director Erin Lantz. "We often hear stories of underwater homeowners who get discouraged because one lender told them no, or because they couldn't afford the fees associated with a particular refinance quote. The beauty of the mobile marketplace environment for homeowners is that they have access to hundreds of competing lenders, right in the palm of their hand, who may be able to help within seconds. It is imperative that homeowners not give up in their quest to refinance."
"Nearly 14.5 million loan requests were submitted via Zillow Mortgage Marketplace over the past 12 months, and the new features and improvements to our iOS app will help homeowners and shoppers find relevant mortgage information right at their fingertips."
In April, it was announced that HARP had been extended through 2015. The program started in April 2009 and was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2013. It has since helped nearly 2.2 million underwater homeowners refinance into a better mortgage. The expanded FHA Streamline Program started in June 2011, and no end date for the expanded rules has been announced.
Additional new features and enhancements of the updated Zillow Mortgage Marketplace app include:
►New Landing Page and Home Screen: Designed to help home loan shoppers find what they need in an instant, the new landing page provides access to the breadth of Zillow's mortgage information in just one tap.
►New Quote Detail Page: Navigation bar travels with shoppers as they scroll, allowing easy access to details on rate history, sharing or retrieving rate quotes. The updated app also uses color-coding to allow home shoppers to easily identify quotes they have already reviewed.
►New Rate Chart: Increased interactivity allows shoppers to slide through time, rather than using filters, to narrow and find rate details and information.
►Expanded Lender Profiles: Users can view and scroll through more than 33,000 lender reviews quickly and easily.
►Redesigned Calculators: Zillow Mortgage Marketplace's easy-to-use calculators now include interactive charts and graphs to help make it simple for home shoppers and owners to find the best loan for them.