On The Money

Considering the HARP Loan Program? Determine If You’re Qualified

Man qualified for HARPPrimarily established last March 2009, the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) basically targets specific types of homeowners. They designed this federal refinance program for residents who stay up-to-date with their mortgage payments.

However, they are also the ones who have negative equity, limited equity, or none at all in their homes.

Millions served

Initially, the Treasury Department and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) calculated that nearly four to five million residents could refinance using the HARP loan program, a service provided by firms such as Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc.

Since this program started, over 3.2 million homeowners were able to refinance their houses. Yet, the most recent information revealed by the HUD displays over 600,000 homes that are still qualified for the program.

Similar to mortgages

A HARP loan program appears similar to other mortgages, mainly because Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae back it up. Therefore, its underwriting procedure is the same as other traditional mortgages.

Homeowners will have to sign loan disclosures, as well as forward supporting financial documents. Mortgage lenders generally search for borrowers that have quality credit scores, solid incomes and good assets.

The following is the complete list of the loan requirements:

1. Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae must guarantee or own the mortgage.

2. Homeowners should have sold their mortgage to Freddie Mac or Fannie May on or before 31 May 2009.

3. Residents must be up-to-date with their mortgage payments and must have no late payments of over 30 days during the past six months. Moreover, their records must not show any delay in paying at least in the past year.

4. Qualified kinds of property, include one-to-four unit rental property, primary residence and one-unit second home.

Last 17 August 2017, the FHFA declared that it had extended the HARP loan program and it will now run until the end of this year. Take this as a sign and a great opportunity to apply for the program.

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