Special Refinancing Program Ending This Year

Previously we reported on a news article published by the Sun-Sentinel on the newspaper’s official site, which mentioned an extension of the Home Affordable program (HARP for short), allowing eligible HARP borrowers additional time to consider refinancing their home loans to a more affordable mortgage.

According to “Underwater borrowers getting more time to refinance”, the government offered an extension of The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) allowing it to remain open until it expires.

“The Home Affordable Refinance Program was set to expire at the end of 2013, but the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced earlier this month that HARP will continue through 2015.”

HARP was started in 2009, “designed for homeowners who may not otherwise qualify for refinancing because they owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth” according to the Sun-Sentinel article.

Another way to describe that situation is being “underwater” on a home loan. Under HARP, qualified underwater borrowers “can expect much lower payments by getting mortgage rates below 4 percent. Some homeowners can reduce their mortgages to 15 years from 30 with only slightly higher payments than they have now.”

Borrowers can qualify for HARP if their homes were purchased under the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac programs who are not yet delinquent on them.

Under the rules most borrowers cannot have had any late mortgage loan payments in the six months leading up to HARP loan application, and only a single late payment within the last 12 months before the loan application.

Staying current on a home loan and not missing payments is the key to many government backed refinance programs. Staying current on your mortgage can also be a huge benefit if the borrower decides to do a short sale or loan assumption move instead of HARP. But time is running out for HARP-eligible borrowers to take advantage of the HARP program.

According to the FHA official site, you have until December 31 2015. Learn more about the program at the official site: http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/programs/lower-rates/Pages/harp.aspx

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