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HARP 2: The Basics for Tampa, Florida Homeowners

June 25, 2013


President Obama’s Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), has existed since 2009, but initial efforts for the program to help as many underwater homeowners as possible failed, and the program was launched again as HARP 2.  The reason the program failed to help the number of homeowners that the government intended, and the reason why the program was re-launched as HARP 2, was because the initial release of the program included several roadblocks which prevented many underwater Tampa, Florida homeowners from getting the refinance help that they needed in order to enjoy the benefits of a refinance.

Under the new program, Florida homeowners will experience far fewer roadblocks on the road to a refinance.  For starters, the new program waives loan-to-value ratio requirements, which means that it doesn’t matter how far underwater a home might be, as long as refinancing homeowners in Florida can meet the rest of program requirements, they can be approved for a refinance.

Check My Florida Harp 2.0 Eligibility

Another roadblock which was removed from the HARP relaunch was one which required homeowners to get their homes appraised before they could be approved for a new loan.  Without the appraisal requirement, homeowners can experience a much smoother and quicker transition into a newer, more affordable loan.  Certain fees have also been eliminated from the program, specifically risk based fees for borrowers who refinance into a loan with a shorter term.

To be approved for a refinance under HARP 2, Florida homeowners should have a loan which is backed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and the loan needs to have been securitized on or before the last day in May, 2009.

As of now, the entire HARP program is only intended to be temporary, so the program will eventually come to an end.  However, the program has already been extended in the past, and the current final deadline for refinancing under HARP is December 31st, 2015.

While it is technically possible to refinance into a lower interest rate and lower monthly mortgage payment alone, underwater homeowners interested in refinancing under HARP should still speak to a Certified Mortgage Professional.  Just because certain limits are established under the HARP program, individual lenders are still allowed to decide which borrowers they approve for a loan.  If they tried to refinance without the help of a Certified Mortgage Professional, prospective refinancing borrowers would be expected to apply for a new loan and interview each prospective lender on their own.  Since a mortgage professional will maintain a close relationship with lenders, the professional can make a determination and recommendation as to which lenders a borrower should apply for a loan through.  When a list of suitable lenders is found, the mortgage professional can then help the prospective borrower apply for the refinance by ensuring that all application paperwork and necessary documents are in order.

Check My Florida Harp 2.0 Eligibility

If they have been holding off on refinancing under HARP, then prospective refinancing borrowers should seriously consider applying for a HARP refinance as quickly as possible.  Despite the fact that interest rates are still very low, they are beginning to show signs of a gradual but definite upswing.

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Chris Brown
Chris Brown is the premier expert on HARP loans and Government FHA and VA loans. Please visit The Mortgage Chili Blog
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Chris Brown
Chris Brown is the premier expert on HARP loans and Government FHA and VA loans. Please visit The Mortgage Chili Blog