Some 675.000 U.S. mortgage holders could be in for some serious savings on their mortgage each month by refinancing through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). Even if you owe more on your home than it is worth, you could be eligible to joint more than 3 million homeowners who have already refinanced through HARP.
HARP is a federal program that helps homeowners refinance at current low mortgage rates. For many eligible homeowners, the savings could not come at a better time and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) says that as many as 675,000 loans remain eligible for HARP refinancing—11,740 in Connecticut and 16,067 in New York State alone.
According to FHFA Director Mel Watt, there are “hundreds of thousands of borrowers who can still benefit from HARP and are essentially leaving money on the table by not taking advantage of the program.”
The FHFA recently released the map below to illustrate the number of homeowners most likely qualify for HARP refinancing. . The map is can also be found on HARP.gov.
Why should I refinance through HARP?
HARP offers borrowers an opportunity to refinance their mortgage loan for a more affordable or stable mortgage. Most people who qualify for HARP end up reducing their monthly payments by reducing the interest rate, while others take advantage of HARP to convert their adjustable rate mortgages (ARM) into more a more predictable, fixed-rate mortgage. Homeowners can also build equity faster by shortening their loan terms,
How do I find out if I’m eligible?
In order to qualify for HARP:
- You must e current on your mortgage with no late payments made 30 or more days past the due date in the past six months, and no more than one late payment made 30 or more days past the due date in the past 12 months.
- You must have a qualifying property type; that is,our home must be a primary residence, a 1-unit second home or a 1- to 4-unit investment property. Condos, PUDs and manufactured homes are eligible.
- Your mortgage must be backed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae (most home loans are): Use the Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae online lookup tools or call Fannie Mae at 1-800-7Fannie or Freddie Mac at 1-800-FREDDIE to determine who owns your loan.
- You must have a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 80 percent or higher: To calculate your LTV, divide the amount of money you owe on your house by its value.
- Your current loan must have closed by May 31, 2009.
For more information, visit the HARP.gov website.