Question of the Day: Does My Second Home Qualify for HARP?by Tim Manni
Blog.HSH.com reader Jessica wrote in and asked if her specific situation allowed her to qualify for the home affordable refinance program (HARP):
I am getting mixed messages about eligibility for the HARP program. I own a property in CA but live in Co. My original loan is with Wells Fargo and a mortgage consultant said we didn’t qualify for HARP due to non-owner occupancy. However, the original loan was owner occupied and it looks as though on the Fannie Mae and the making home affordable websites that investment properties can qualify. Please advise
We went over to the Making Home Affordable (MHA) website to see exactly what qualifies a borrowers (and thus excludes a borrower) from HARP. Number five on MHA’s list of frequently asked questions is “How do I know if I am eligible for a refinance under HARP?”
The very first bullet point states, “You are the owner-occupant of a one- to four-unit home.” By this reckoning, investment properties and vacation home do not qualify for a refinance under the federal program.
What About HAMP?
Do second homes qualify for loan modifications under the making home affordable modification program? According to MakingHomeAffordable.com:
If you own a house that you use as a vacation home or that you rent out to tenants, the mortgage on that house is not eligible to be modified under HAMP. If you used to live in the home but you moved out, the mortgage is not eligible. Only the first lien mortgage on your primary residence is eligible. The servicer will check to see if the dwelling is your primary residence. Misrepresenting your occupancy in order to qualify for this program is a violation of Federal law and may have serious legal consequences.
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