Q:

What are the guidelines for HARP loans?

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Quick Answer

The Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, is designed for homeowners who need to refinance their mortgage loans but are unable to obtain traditional refinancing due to declining home values, according to MakingHomeAffordable.gov. The goal of HARP is to help qualified homeowners get into stable mortgages that they can afford. HARP loans are only available for loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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Full Answer

To be eligible for a HARP loan, a mortgage must have originated or been bought by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae prior to May 31, 2009, reports MakingHomeAffordable.gov. The mortgage cannot have previously been financed under HARP and must have a loan-to-value ratio of 80 percent or more. The borrower must not be behind on payments and have a good payment history for the previous 12 months before application.

HARP is limited by the mortgage servicers that offer it, notes the Making Home Affordable.gov program availability page. The program is slated to end on December 31, 2015. Interested mortgage holders must contact their mortgage servicers to find out if their mortgages qualify.

HARP.gov is a good source of information regarding the program, states MakingHomeAffordable.gov. Interested parties may also contact HUD counselors at 1-888-995-HOPE to get more information about their options under HARP as of 2015.

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