HARP 2.0: Homeowners No Longer Penalized for Being Responsible

Tuesday, June 26 at 09:05 PM
Category: Personal Finance

Back in January, Executive Vice President for Arvest Mortgage Company, Steven Plaisance, let us in on some helpful information about home refinance that caught attention by many.  Do you recall his article featuring HARP 2.0?  If you missed it or would like to refresh your memory, you can find it by clicking here

HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) is a government program unlike most others. It provides refinancing assistance to responsible homeowners with a history of making their mortgage payments on time, who are underwater because of declining home values. For millions of underwater homeowners, HARP is the only program available that will allow them to refinance at today’s low interest rates. The latest iteration of the program is proving more successful than its predecessors, as evidenced by one of the region’s largest mortgage lenders, Arvest, experiencing a 162 percent increase in HARP loans in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the first quarter of 2011.

“Many homeowners with jobs and good credit have found it difficult to refinance when the market value of their home is worth less than the mortgage itself. Thankfully, the latest version of HARP will accommodate many more homeowners than the previous version. As one of the region’s largest mortgage lenders, we’ve seen a significant increase in HARP loans since the unveiling of HARP 2.0. And, unlike some of the larger banks, Arvest is providing these loans to customers and non-customers alike,” said an Arvest spokesperson.

HARP 2.0 opens the program to more homeowners by relaxing some of its criteria – most notably, allowing for an unlimited loan-to-value ratio on fixed-rate loans (previously, under HARP 1.0, only borrowers with ratios of 125 percent or less could refinance) and eliminating the appraisal requirement. While the program is only available for mortgages that are owned or guaranteed by the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) before May 31, 2009, according to Bloomberg, between those companies and Ginnie Mae, which guarantees loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration, the government backed nearly 97 percent of U.S. mortgages in 2009.

The HARP program is available through Dec. 31, 2013.  If you would like more information about HARP 2.0, please contact a Mortgage Loan Specialist at Arvest Mortgage Company. 

Tags: Home Loans, Lending and Financing, Mortgage
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