The HARP mortgage was made available in 2009 and gives homeowners the ability to refinance their current mortgage if they owe more than their home is worth. HARP stands for the Home Affordable Refinance Program but it is often referred to as the Obama Refi, and Making Home Affordable program. Fannie Mae’s version of the program is called DU Refi Plus, and the Freddie Mac variation is called the Relief Refinance. While these are two separate programs, they are essentially the same. The program you use will depend on which of these two entities owns your mortgage.
At Vince Gutierrez Mortgage, we help homeowners throughout the entire state of Texas, save money on their mortgage through the HARP 2.0 program. HARP 2.0 was an update to the original HARP program, released in 2012, that removed the loan-to-value (LTV) cap for fixed rate mortgages. The initial implementation of the HARP program allowed borrowers to finance up to 125% LTV only. Many homes had decreased in value so drastically that homeowners were unable to take advantage of the program. Removing the LTV cap made HARP accessible to millions of additional homeowners. HARP 2.0 is set to end on September 30, 2017.
Qualifying for HARP 2.0 anywhere in Texas
There are a few requirements that need to be met before Texas homeowners can qualify for the HARP 2.0 program.
- The loan must be owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
- The loan must have a note date no later than May 31, 2009.
- The current LTV must be 80% or higher.
- The borrower cannot have any 30-day late payments in the past 6 months.
- The borrower cannot have more than one 30-day late payment in the past 12 months.
- The mortgage being refinanced has not previously used the HARP program.
HARP 2.0 loans are available as both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM). Loans are available as either 15-year, 20-year, or 30-year fixed-rate mortgages or 5, 7, and 10 year ARMS. If you currently hold an ARM you can refinance into another ARM or a fixed-rate mortgage. However, if you currently have a fixed-rate mortgage, you can only refinance into another fixed-rate mortgage.
Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is typically required on loans with an LTV greater than 80%. One of the advantages of the HARP 2.0 program is that you do not need to pay PMI when refinancing, even if the LTV exceeds 80%. This applies to homeowners who currently do not have PMI on their mortgage. If you are currently paying PMI, you will need to continue paying it. HARP 2.0 does not allow you to refinance out of your PMI.
If you are underwater on your Texas, home, the HARP 2.0 program can be an excellent refinancing option. HARP 2.0 is set to end on September 30, 2017, so if you are considering refinancing your mortgage, contact Vince Gutierrez Mortgage to take advantage of the program today.