HARP Mortgage Overview
HARP is a component of the Making Home Affordable program which was put forward by the Obama administration. Introduced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Treasury Department, HARP lets borrowers with falling home values and limited access to insurance refinance mortgages into more manageable payments and/or interest rates. Some 900,000 borrowers have refinanced through HARP since the program’s inception in April 2009.
HARP is not the only refinancing option that homeowners can use. In fact, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have assisted about nine million borrowers with refinance since HARP began. What makes HARP unique is that it gives borrowers who are paying a higher amount than their current home value the opportunity to refinance at lower interest rates along with other special benefits.
Who is Eligible
To qualify for refinancing through HARP, the borrower must have taken out a mortgage that was sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac no later than May 31, 2009. To check if your loan is with Fannie or Freddie, you can consult each of these enterprises by visiting the “Who Owns My Loan“page.
Borrowers must also be current on their mortgages and have no record of late payment within the last six months, and may only have one late payment maximum over the past 12-month period. Loans with loan-to-value ratios (LTVs) higher than 80% will continue to be eligible for HARP. Check the “HARP Mortgage Requirements” page for current HARP requirements.