HARP, also known as the Home Affordable Refinance Program, will be around for another two years thanks to an extension that was recently granted by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). HARP was set to expire at the end of this year, but will continue until December 31, 2015.
FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco, said, “More than 2 million home owners have refinanced through HARP, proving it a useful tool for reducing risk. We are extending the program so more underwater borrowers can benefit from lower interest rate.”
The Federal Housing Finance Agency will continue to oversee the program that assists severely underwater home owners with programs than can offer relief. According to a recent report by FHFA, more than 250,000 borrowers with loan-to-value (LTV) ratios over 125% have been able to refinance through the HARP program.
In addition to the extension, the agency said they will launch a campaign to get the word out. Their hope is to reach as many eligible borrowers as possible and help them make use of the HARP program. While it’s unclear how many additional home owners are eligible for the HARP program, the FHFA believes there is a substantial amount of people who could stand to benefit.
Here’s a look at the eligibility requirements for the program as set forth by the FHFA in their announcement about the extension:
- The loan must be owned or guaranteed by the GSEs
- Loans must have been sold to the GSEs on or before May 31, 2009
- The mortgage can’t be one that was previously refinanced under HARP unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March to May, 2009
- LTV must be greater than 80 percent
- Borrower must be current on their mortgage payments with no late payments in the last six months and no more than one late payment in the last 12 months