Thursday, 31 July 2014
New Options for Refinancing in 2014

In 2009 the Departments of the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development introduced HARP, or Home Affordable Refinance Program, as a way for Americans to refinance their homes under the Making Homes Affordable Program. Many people who wanted to refinance were told they did not qualify under the first program, so changes were made that have opened up this opportunity to more people.

If you have tried to refinance and you've been turned down, it might be worth your time to see if your mortgage and current situation would benefit from the new guidelines.

According to MakingHomeAffordable.Gov, you may be eligible for HARP if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
  • The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
  • The mortgage cannot have been refinanced under HARP previously unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March-May, 2009.
  • The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%.
  • The borrower must be current on the mortgage at the time of the refinance, with a good payment history in the past 12 months.

If you're not sure who owns your mortgage, call your lender or use the following contact information to find out.

Even if you start the process with your current lender, you are free to shop around and see what other mortgage companies are offering when it comes to rates and fees. Some may be willing to pay your fees for you, but that will probably come at the cost of a slightly higher interest rate.

Before you commit to anything, DO THE MATH. Once you find out how much you'll be saving each month with your new rate, factor that into how much you'll be expected to pay in closing costs and fees. If you discover that it will take months or years to pay off the difference in fees, then it might not be worth the trouble. But, if you're able to pay off those fees in a few short months, you could save a ton of money on your home!

Call me and I'll be happy to recommend some brokers that I trust to walk you through this process. The deadline for applications for HARP is December 31, 2015.

Posted on 07/31/2014 3:32 PM by Jarod
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