HARP 2.0 Questions Answered

I’ve been receiving a lot of questions on the HARP 2.0 program so I thought I’d put up a new blog post addressing the most common questions:

Who Qualifies?

Homeowners who have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac serviced mortgage that was originated prior to June 2009.  If you are unsure if Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac owns your loan, you can find out at the links listed on the right of this website under Other Useful Sites or visit Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Do I have to use my current lender?

Not necessarily.   HARP 2.0 will be available at a variety of mortgage lenders.

When is the HARP 2.0 Program Going to be Available?

Freddie Mac loans will be available March 12th and Fannie Mae loans will be available March 19th.  Some servicers may be offering the program now to their current loan portfolio, however, the program will not be available to the broader public until the dates mentioned.  If you have a interest in shopping around, it is in your best interest to wait till March 12th or 19th.

What if the value of my home has fallen?

HARP 2.0 fixed rate mortgages will have an unlimited loan to value while ARMs will be capped at 105%.   In some cases, an appraisal waiver will be granted as well.

What are the interest rates?

The interest rates on HARP 2.0 loans are similar to the interest rates on regular refinances.  In fact, in many cases, the rates on HARP loans may actually be lower than rates on a regular refinances.

Will a HARP 2.0 refinance hurt my credit?

No.  HARP 2.0 refinances are normal refinances and do not have a negative impact on your credit score.

I refinanced under HARP 1.0 guidelines.  Am I eligible for HARP 2.0 refinances?

No.  Your loan must have been originated prior to June 2009.  If you have refinanced after June 2009 through either HARP 1.0 or a regular refinance, you are not eligible for HARP 2.0.

What if my loan has Private Mortgage Insurance?

Most PMI companies have indicated that they are transferring PMI coverage on HARP loans.  However, some mortgage lenders may not allow PMI transfers.

What if my loan has a second mortgage or a home equity line of credit?

The second mortgage lender must agree to subordinate to a new first mortgage.  Most second mortgage lenders are agreeing to subordinate behind HARP refinances.  However, there may be some lenders who will not.  When you apply for a HARP 2.0 refinance, the lender will simultaneously request the second mortgage lender to subordinate.

Can I payoff my second mortgage or home equity line of credit with a HARP refinance?

No.  The HARP guidelines do not allow for combining a first and second mortgage into one loan.  If you have the equity, you can do so under regular refinance guidelines requiring an appraisal and income verification.

What credit score is required for a HARP 2.0 refinance?

There are no minimum FICO scores required.  However, be aware that lenders may still require higher FICO scores.

What if I no longer live in the home and rent the property?

Investment properties are eligible.

If you believe you may qualify for a HARP 2.0 refinance or have any questions, don’t hesitate to give me a call.