What Is the HARP Program?


Quick Answer

The Home Affordable Refinance Program is a federal program designed to assist homeowners in stabilizing their mortgages through refinancing. Potential participants must be current on their mortgage payments to take part in the program.

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Full Answer

The HARP program is for homeowners who have been unable to refinance their mortages through other means because the values of their homes have declined. The program is a joint effort of the Departments of the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development.

To be eligible for HARP, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac must own or guarantee the mortgage in question. The mortgage must have been sold to these lenders on or before May 31, 2009. The mortgage also cannot be refinanced a second time under HARP unless the first refinancing took place from March to May of 2009. The current loan-to-value ratio must be greater than 80 percent, and the borrower must be current on the mortgage at the time of refinance with a good payment history for at least the previous 12 months. A first step for determining eligibility is to contact the servicer of the mortgage and ask if it is eligible for HARP.

Housing counselors are also available to assist by phone at 888-995-4673. The HARP program is scheduled to end on Dec. 31, 2015.

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