In an effort to help struggling homeowners take advantage of the Home Affordable Refinance Program, the program has been extended to December 31, 2015 and has expanded the eligibility criteria.
The HARP program is a federal program of the United States, set up by the Federal Housing Finance Agency in March 2009 to help underwater and near-underwater homeowners refinance their mortgages. Eligible borrowers were those whose loans were purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac prior to May 31, 2009, not behind on their mortgage payments, and were unable to get traditional refinancing because the value of their home had declined to less than the current mortgage balance.
One of the biggest challenges we found when we first started originating HARP refinances was the eligibility date. The loan had to be purchased by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac before May 31, 2009. If the loan was closed and recorded on April 20 2009, but sold to the investor in June of 2009, the loan was not eligible. With the new criteria taking effect next week, that loan will be eligible because the Note date (April 20, 2009) is prior to May 31, 2009 – small detail that will open a large door to thousands of homeowners.
Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s “Loan Look Up” engines will be temporarily down as they implement the new dates. However, if you are interested learning if you are eligible, please contact Spinnaker Financial.