As of May 2015, an update to the Home Affordable Refinance Program, HARP 3, is still under consideration by Congress, according to The Mortgage Reports. However, eligibility criteria for the proposed program may relax the requirement for certain mortgage holders to verify their income and assets.
Created in 2009, the Home Affordable Refinance Program is designed to lower the size of payments for homeowners who are facing difficulties in paying their mortgages, according to CBS Moneywatch. In 2011, the Treasury Department revised its eligibility criteria to expand access to a larger pool of struggling homeowners, and this change was dubbed HARP 2.0. Another revision to the program, HARP 3.0, is expected to provide relief for formerly ineligible homeowners by lowering the eligibility requirements even further.
For instance, under HARP 2.0, only loans issued by the Federal National Mortgage Association, colloquially known as Fannie Mae, and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, informally referred to as Freddie Mac, qualified for the program, as CBS Moneywatch explains. However, HARP 3.0 is expected to relax this rule, making virtually all mortgages eligible. The update is also expected to allow qualifying homeowners to refinance mortgages through the program, which is prohibited under HARP 2.0. To expand access, the update may also lower income and employment requirements.