Frequently Asked Questions About HARP
1. What are the minimum requirements to be HARP eligible?
First, your home loan must be paid ontime for the prior 6 months, and at least 11 of the most recent 12 months. Second, your mortgage must have been sold to Fannie or Freddie prior to June 1, 2009. And, third, you may not have used the HARP program before – only one HARP refinance per mortgage is allowed.
2. Am I eligible for the Home Affordable Refinance Program if I’m behind on my mortgage?
No. It is critical to have your mortgage payment current.
3. Will the Home Affordable Refinance Program help me avoid foreclosure?
No. The Home Affordable Refinance Programwill not delay, or stop, foreclosures. It’s meant to give homeowners who are current on their mortgages, and who have lost home equity, a chance to refinance at today’s low mortgage rates.
4. I am really far underwater on my mortgage. Can I use HARP?
Absolutely, Yes. This is the main reason for the revised HARP 2.0 program. The new HARP program specifically has no loan-to-value restriction.
5. Will my home need an appraisal with the HARP program?
Maybe, The rules from Lender to Lender havent been made public for the March 1 rollout. So most likely there will be some value determination run, but most likely won’t be a full Appraisal and even if required won’t impact the ability for you to qualify for the program.
6. Is HARP the same thing as an FHA Streamline Refinance?
No, the HARP program is administered through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. FHA Streamline Refinances are performed through the FHA. The programs have similarities, however.
7. Do I have to use my current lender to refinance under the HARP 2.0 program?
No, you can do a HARP refinance with any Fannie or Freddie direct lender effective March 1st.
8. I put down 20% when I bought my home. My home is now underwater. If I refinance with HARP, will I have to pay mortgage insurance now?
No, you won’t need to pay mortgage insurance. If your current loan doesn’t have PMI, your new loan won’t require it.
9. I pay PMI now. Will my PMI payments go up with a new HARP refinance?
No, your private mortgage insurance payments will not increase. However, the “transfer” of your mortgage insurance policy may require an extra step. Remind us that you’re paying PMI to help the refinance process move more smoothly.
10. What’s the biggest mortgage I can get with a HARP refinance?
HARP refinances are limited to the conforming loan limit of $417,000.
11. Can I do a cash-out refinance with HARP?
No, the HARP program doesn’t allow a cash out refinances. Only rate-andterm refinances are allowable.
12. Can I refinance an investment/rental property with HARP?
Yes, you can refinance an investment/ rental property with HARP, even if the home was once your primary residence.
13. Can I refinance a second/ vacation home with HARP?
Yes, you can refinance a second/ vacation property with HARP, even if the home was once your primary residence. The loan must meet typical program eligibility standards.
14. Can I refinance a condo with a HARP refinance?
Yes, condos can be financed on the HARP refinance program. Warrantable standards still apply
15. Can I consolidate mortgages with a Making Home Affordable refinance?
No, you cannot consolidate multiple mortgages with the HARP refinance program. It’s for first liens only. All subordinate/junior liens must be resubordinated to the new first mortgage. If you have a second mortgage be sure to mention that to us as well.
16. Can I “roll up” my closing costs into a Making Home Affordable refinance?
Yes, mortgage balances can be increased to cover closing costs in addition to other monies due at closing such as escrow reserves, accrued daily interest, and a small amount of cash. In no case may loan sizes exceed the local conforming loan limits, however.
17. What are the HARP program’s mortgage rates?
Mortgage rates for the HARP program are the same as for a “traditional” refinance. If you obtain a term of 20 years or more there is a slight price improvement.
18. Is there a minimum credit score to use the HARP program?
No, there is no minimum credit score requirement with the HARP refi program, per se. However, you must qualify for the mortgage based on traditional underwriting standards.
19. What does the term “DU Refi Plus” mean?
“DU Refi Plus” is the brand name Fannie Mae assigned to this particular HARP program. “DU” stands for Desktop Underwriter.
20.Is there a 125% loan-to-value restriction for HARP?
No, there is not a 125% loan-to-value restriction. All homes — regardless of value — are eligible for the HARP program.
21. When does the HARP 2.0 program end?
December 2013, but rates may not be this low for that long, so it is important to start the process as soon as possible.
Cobalt Mortgage, Inc.
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