If you haven’t heard the terms Obama Refinance or HARP Refinance or anything similar to it, you soon might. Fannie Mae is ramping up to help all homeowners hear about the HARP refinance program that was first announced by President Obama a couple of years ago because there are still millions of homeowners who can take advantage of the program and save on their mortgage.
Is the HARP refinance program more popular in 2013 than it was in the past? Yes. Because we are now into HARP 2.0 where lenders have expanded the guidelines to let more people participate and be eligible.
And even though there isn’t an official “Obama Refinance Campaign” and the marketing materials that Fannie Mae is getting ready to send out with lenders across the US doesn’t have the word OBAMA on it anywhere … plenty of people still know HARP as the Obama refinance program.
Officially, the Home Affordable Refinance Program is the name of it.
The Obama Refinance Program / HARP Refinance in 2013
HARP 2.0 is now here and plenty of people are wondering about the guidelines. The initial intent of the program was to help homeowners who owe more on their house than it is worth due to falling real estate values – and allow them to refinance into a lower rate.Highlights and some general lender guidelines of the HARP / Obama refinance program include:
- Current mortgage must have been obtained before May, 31, 2009.
- Some lenders have loan to value restrictions, some don’t
- Some lenders have minimum credit score requirements, some don’t
- Some lenders may wave a required appraisal
- 1-4 Family Primary Residence, Second Home, 1-2 Family Non-Owner Occupied, and Condominiums & PUDs are eligible
- Private Mortgage Insurance transfers are allowed with certain mortgage insurance companies
- Most lenders will require that subordinate liens (second mortgages) be re-subordinated
- Most lenders require no late payments in the last 12 months
- Most lenders will not allow a bankruptcy or foreclosure in the last 7 years
Most lenders will require that in order to do a HARP refinance, you will have to benefit from it in one of the following ways:
- Reduction in the monthly principal and interest payment
- Reduction in the interest rate
- Reduction in the amortization term
- Move to a more stable product, e.g. ARM to Fixed-Rate
Does Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac Own Your Loan?
In order to be eligible for the Obama refinance / HARP program, your loan must be backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Both have tools on their websites to see if they own your loan. To see if either one holds your mortgage, you can check Fannie Mae. If they don’t have your mortgage there, then check Freddie Mac.
HARP Mortgage Marketing
If you haven’t heard about the HARP refinance program, you soon will. Millions of pieces of direct mail are soon to be going out to let people know of the benefits of the program and what they can do to qualify. What the direct mail pieces won’t tell you? That in order to get the best deal, you will want to get a written quote from multiple lenders. Getting a quote from multiple lenders will get you the best chance to see what each lender can do for you and let you know what your options are. Getting a quote on the HARP refinance program is free and only takes a few seconds. Get started today and get a quote right here.