The Underwater Refinance for Home Owners in St. Louis and St. Charles MO
Are you an underwater home owner in the St. Louis MO and St. Charles MO area? The NEW HARP 2.0 refinance program allows underwater or upside down homeowners the ability to refinance into a lower mortgage payment or a more stable home loan program without concern for the loan to value.
This HARP 2.0 information is accurate and current as of, November 3rd, 2013. This webpage has been updated to reflect recent changes to HARP 2.0
You are in the right place to learn everything you need to know about the HARP Refinance. If you are an underwater home owner and your interest rate is too high there is help and hope for you now. If you are in the St. Louis MO area I hope to be a part of that help.
WHAT IS HARP 2.O?
Harp was started in April of 2009, also known as the Home Affordable Refinance Program HARP is designed to allow responsible homeowners to take advantage of lower mortgage rates and payments, even if you owe as much or more on your home than it’s currently worth.
HARP 2.0 is also known as DU Refi Plus, Open Access, the Obama Refinance Program, Making Home Affordable, The Obama Refi, A Better Bargain for U. S. Homeowners, and Relief Refinance.
Key HARP Refinance Benefits:
Unlimited Loan-to-Value: this allows you no matter how underwater to refinance to a lower mortgage payment.
Lower Banking Fees and Interest Rates: homeowners can shop around for the best deal as opposed to being stuck with the bank/servicer that they are currently making their mortgage payments to.
Not Limited to Occupancy Type: Owner Occupied, Second Home, or Investment Property all can refinance with this program.
Less 'Red Tape': removing many of the red tape barriers of previous governmental refinance programs the HARP refinance is easy and fast.
Basic HARP Qualification Requirements
Current mortgage must be owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae
Loans must have CLOSED on or before MAY 31, 2009
No late mortgage payments made in the most recent 12 months
Will HARP Lower my House Payment?
I sure hope so! The goal of the HARP Refinance Program is to provide all homeowners but especially underwater homeowners who have been paying their mortgage on time the opportunity to get into a new mortgage with better terms and payment.
Homeowners whose mortgage interest rates are much higher than the current market interest rate would see a decrease in their payments. The average American has saved an average of $250 per month over their current mortgage payment after refinancing with HARP 2.0.
Who is Eligible for HARP?
BASIC HARP ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:
Your mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
Your Mortgage must have been established on or before May 31, 2009
Current loan to value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80% and no maximum
At the time of application for your refinance your mortgage payments must be current
The borrower must not have had any late mortgage payments over the most recent 12 months
Mortgage cannot have been refinanced previously under the HARP program
Is My Mortgage Owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?
There are three ways to learn if your mortgage is owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae:
HARP Refinance Questions and Answers
Is HARP the same thing as the government's 'Making Home Affordable' program? Yes, HARP and Making Home Affordable are one in the same
If my mortgage is held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac am I instantly eligible for a HARP refinance? No, there is a application and underwriting process as there are with all mortgage programs. This is the first and most crucial step in moving forward.
I looked and my mortgage is held by either Fannie or Freddie, now what do I do? Find your most recent mortgage statement and hold on to it. Contact your mortgage loan officer or me as I would welcome the opportunity to help you.
What if my mortgage is not held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac? There may still be options available to you through many of the 'regular' mortgage loan programs. Give me a call and let us discuss your situation.
Does HARP work the same with Freddie Mac as it does with Fannie Mae? Yes, for the most part HARP is the same with either Fannie or Freddie. There are some differences but they are very small in their effect.
I am REALLY underwater on my mortgage, will HARP help? Yes! There is no loan to value restrictions under the HARP mortgage refinance program as long as your new mortgage is a fixed rate home loan with an 30 year term or less.
Why does my Bank or Loan Officer say I'm limited to 105% loan to value? Not all banks are underwriting to HARP program guidelines as they are providing their own overlays to the rules. Not all loan officers fully understand the program, either.
Why does my Bank or Loan Officer say I am limited to a 125% loan to value? Not all banks are underwriting to HARP program guidelines as they are providing their own overlays to the rules. Not all loan officers fully understand the program, either.
Homes in the area are starting to gain value, will this hurt my chance to refinance with HARP? For the most part I would say, no. As your home increases in value you are getting closer to being able to refinance with a regular mortgage program or sell your home. The question you have to ask yourself is how long before this happens and do I want to wait that long?
Does HARP require an appraisal? Kind of, although your home's value does not matter with the HARP refinance most lenders (me included) will run what is referred to as an AVM or automated valuation model. If the value meets the reliability standards no real appraisal will be necessary. In many instances we and all lenders will send an Appraiser simply to insure your home is still there and standing.
I was denied a HARP refinance because my Loan to Value was too high? What Can I do now? Every lender/bank are utilizing their own overlays of the program's guidelines. These overlays are not the same with every bank or lender if you were denied because of LTV know that there is a lender that can help you.
Am I eligible to be approved for a HARP refinance if I am currently behind on my mortgage? No, you must be current on your mortgage payments.
My lender/bank denied my HARP application because my credit scores were too low. Can I re-apply with another lender? Yes, Every lender/bank are utilizing their own overlays of the program's guidelines. These overlays are not the same with every bank or lender if you were denied because of credit scores know that there is a lender that can help you.
I pay PMI, private mortgage insurance, now, will my PMI payments go up with a new HARP refinance? No, your PMI payments will not increase. Let your lender know you are paying PMI as there is an extra step as a lender we need to take to complete your refinance, this will make everything go smoother.
I was told by my Loan Officer I cannot refinance with HARP because I currently have PMI, why? This isn't true, you can refinance if your current mortgage has private mortgage insurance.
What's up with the May 31, 2009 date and HARP? Honestly, I don't know and it appears nobody actually knows or are saying why.
I barely miss the May 31, 2009 cutoff date, can an exception be made? No, there are no exceptions being made. But, hang in there I keep hearing rumors about a possible HARP 3.0 that will change the cutoff date.
Can I do a cash-out refinance with HARP? No, only a rate and term refinance.
I have an 80/10/10 mortgage, can I still do a HARP refinance? Yes, you can utilize the HARP refinance program as long as you meet the program's eligibility requirements. You can't combine the two mortgages though, only the first mortgage can be refinance and the second mortgage will stay in place and resubordinated.
I have an 80/20 mortgage, can I still do a HARP refinance? Yes, you can utilize the HARP refinance program as long as you meet the program's eligibility requirements. You can't combine the two mortgages though, only the first mortgage can be refinance and the second mortgage will stay in place and resubordinated.
What happens to my second mortgage when I refinance using the HARP program? Harp refinances are only for your first mortgage and your second mortgage will have to stay in place and be resubordinated. Your lender will be able to handle the process of resubordination, just be sure you let your Loan Officer know you have a second mortgage.
Can I use the HARP refinance with my second home or vacation home? You sure can, and there are no add ons or pricing hits.
Can I refinance my rental/investment properties with HARP? Yes, you can take advantage of the HARP refinance with rental and/or investment properties that you may own.
What is DU Refi Plus? You may hear this term when your mortgage is 'owned' by Fannie Mae, this is the brandname Fannie assigned to it's side of the HARP Refinance Mortgage program.
What is Open Access? You may hear this term when your mortgage is 'owned' by Freddie Mac, this is the brandname Freddie gave to it's side of the HARP Refinance Mortgage Program.
Do I have to refinance my mortgage with my current lender? No, you do not and there are a lot of lenders that can help you. If you are in the St. Louis Mo area I would welcome the opportunity to help you.
If you own a home and your interest rate is higher than the current market interest rates AND you are underwater on your value then the HARP 2.0 Refinance Program is here to help.
Call Bob Rutledge today and ask all your questions or fill out the form below. I am here to help you too!