HARP HEADS UP-Home Borrowers with Little or No Equity To Have More Refinance Options!
I know as well as you that our home values have dropped precipitously in the last 3 years. I have implemented the “head in the sand” method of not really wanting to know what my own home is worth. Of course, once you want to sell or refinance, we all have to come to the realization of where are market prices are at. But all is not lost! Finally, there is a Refinance Plan called HARP – Home Affordable Refinance Plan- that will allow you to take advantage of these historically low mortgage rates, even if you are underwater. Let me break this down for you with some FAQ’s…..
- How Is HARP different from any other loan? If you have more than 20% equity in your home today, you can refinance into the lower rates, and you may already have. If you HAD 20% down when you bought, or HAD 20% equity when you last refinanced, you would apply for the HARP loan. It’s still the same program you might choose otherwise, like a 30 year fixed rate, and in all probability at the same rate & costs. But now you don’t have to worry about paying mortgage insurance, due to little equity left, or being denied altogether, because your home is worth 50K less than what you owe.
- Who Is Eligible For This Program? Your current loan must be backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and must have been purchased by one of these institutions prior to June 1st, 2009. That means if you currently have an FHA/VA Government backed mortgage, or a “Jumbo” mortgage over the $417,000 conforming loan limits, you would not be eligible.
- But I Think My Loan is with Chase? In most cases, your bank only “services” your loan. Lenders typically sell your loan some time after closing to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
- So Do I Have To Apply At Chase For This HARP Loan? No. You can apply for a mortgage with me at Guaranteed Rate. We sell the loan after close to Fannie or Freddie.
- But I Think My Home Is REALLY Underwater…. – According to the new HARP plan, there is no Loan To Value restrictions. That means that as long as your loan is eligible, the loan can be for $300,000, your home could be worth $150,000 (200% Loan To Value) and you can refinance!
- How Do I Know If My Loan is Owned By Freddie or Fannie? You can check on my website, www.tomhlava.com On the left side I have provided links for you to see if your loan is backed by either institution.
- When Can I Apply? All lenders will have their “ducks in a row” to accept applications on December 1st. I have a feeling it is going to be a very busy day, so it’s a good idea to be prepared. As I said, not everyone will be eligible for this program. Minimum credit scores, income, assets etc. still have to be provided.
- Why Would I Go To You For My Mortgage? I have been a mortgage consultant since 1985, & have seen the changes in the mortgage and real estate industry. Unlike bank loan officers, I do have to pass stringent federal & state exams to be licensed. I stay on top of these changes and pass this information to you. At Guaranteed Rate, I have access to the best rates and loan programs from the top lenders in the country. I know where to take your loan based on your exact specifications.