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September 11th, 2012

HARP 2.0 available to all borrowers?

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Capitol BuildingBy now, we all know HARP’s history: It was released with grandiose expectations in 2009, and for years, fell short of achieving the goal of helping millions refinance.

To rectify the failed attempt at helping millions improve their mortgage, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac officially rolled out an updated and expanded version of the program in March dubbed “HARP 2.0.”

HARP 2.0 took a struggling refinance effort and put it back on the map. Need proof? The proof is in the numbers.

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s July Refinance Report, more than 519,000 Fannie, Freddie loans were refinanced under HARP since the start of 2012. This “new milestone” was achieved in part because HARP 2.0 has removed all underwater restrictions, reduced or eliminated fees for certain borrowers and has peeled back some restrictions and penalties for lenders. Of course, it was also achievable because mortgage rates continue their foray into record-low territory.

HARP’s success could grow greater

Despite the increased interest in the HARP program, some lawmakers believe the program has even more room to grow.

Senators Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) have reintroduced a bill that would essentially revamp HARP 2.0 allowing even more borrowers to participate.

While no one has dubbed the senators’ plan as HARP 3.0 (the bill was first introduced back in May and referred to the Senate Banking Committee where it apparently died, according to Mortgage News Daily), several of the proposed improvements make a lot of sense.

Here are the proposed updates/improvements:

  • All current Fannie, Freddie borrowers can participate, even those with LTVs under 80 percent
  • Completely eliminate up-front fees on all HARP refinances
  • Current lenders and new lenders will face the same underwriting criteria and reps and warranty rules
  • Eliminate all appraiser costs for refinancers
  • Streamline the refi process even more by no longer requiring borrowers to prove they’re employed

Readers: is this a win-win or a waste of time?

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7 Responses to “HARP 2.0 available to all borrowers?”

  1. bob Says: September 13th, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Still does nothing to help non freddie and fannie borrowers. I am a credit union borrower, underwater, and no chance of help through them or anyone else.

  2. Harp 2.0 Should It Be Expanded to Cover More Borrowers? | HARP 2.0 Lenders: Home Affordable Refinance Program Says: September 14th, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    [...] requirements seem a bit excessive. Will it help or will it hurt? To read the entire article visit HSH.com This entry was posted in Harp 2.0. Bookmark the permalink. ← HARP 2.0 Loan Refinancing [...]

  3. Harp 2.0 Should It Be Expanded to Cover More Borrowers? | HARP 2.0 Lenders: Home Affordable Refinance Program Says: September 14th, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    [...] requirements seem a bit excessive. Will it help or will it hurt? To read the entire article visit HSH.com This entry was posted in Harp 2.0. Bookmark the permalink. ← HARP 2.0 Loan Refinancing [...]

  4. Gregg Muret Says: September 15th, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I agree with Bob; still doesn’t help non Freddie and Fannie borrowers. We still have a little equity and now less income. We struggle to make our payments but we do. Don’t qualify for either a straight Re-Fi or a loan mod. We are literally ’stuck in the middle’. When are they going to help the folks upon whose backs the ‘bad loan’ burden has been placed???

  5. Jerry Says: September 18th, 2012 at 1:16 am

    Does absolutely nothing for my loan which was originated in 2003 (yes 2003) unless the cutoff is moved out one year to May 31, 2010.

  6. Stephen Says: October 9th, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I agree with Bob and Gregg. Does nothing for me. Underwater with a 6.125% interest rate, and a non Freddie or Fannie loan. Other than walk away, nothing here that helps me.

  7. SUZY BALDWIN SPINATO Says: November 2nd, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    HELLO,
    RECEIVED CERTIFICATE FROM HARDEST HIT FUNDS IN THE AMOUNT OF 50,000 – LOAN FANNIE SERVICE BOA
    BOA IS CHARGING APPROX 2,000 CLOSING COST AND
    4.75 TO REFI FOR 30 YERS – HELP! WHERE CAN WE GO
    TO REFI ? LAS VEGAS, NV.
    SMALL LENDERS ARE NOT SURE HOW TO WORK WITH HARP.2.0
    CALLED AND TALKED NOW FOR 2 YEARS.ALL ARE GOING BY A DIFFERENT SET OF RULES.
    THANKS SO MUCH, NEED HELP PLEASE
    SUZY BALDWIN SPINATO LAS VEGAS, NV. 702-641-1706
    PS PRINCIPAL REDUCTION CERTIFICATE GOOD ONLY FOR 90 DAYS, WE ARE DOWN TO 3-4 LEFT.

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HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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