I am always on the lookout for options that will help my clients avoid bankruptcy or help make the process a little easier. A government program called HARP caught my eye as a possibility for homeowners stuck with negative equity who have been unable to refinance.
I recently attended a very informative presentation given by Marylou Edwards with Diversified Mortgage Group. She explained the newly announced refinance program for homes that are underwater and provided details on who qualifies for HARP 2.0.
What is HARP?
HARP stands for Home Affordability Refinance Program. The program allows for homeowners with no equity or negative equity to refinance their mortgages. In the past, refinancing was really only an option if you had equity in the property.
Who Qualifies for HARP?
First of all, the loan must be a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan. Please see Marylou’s presentation for details on how to find out if your loan is a Fannie or Freddie loan.
The residence can be your primary residence, a second home, or even a rental property with four or less units. You must also not be in default on the mortgage payments.
What Does HARP Not Help With?
HARP will not help you with a second mortgage on your property. The second mortgage will continue to be on the property, even if you refinance the first mortgage through HARP.
Loans not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac do not qualify for the government program. However, it may be in your best interests to talk to your lender and see if they have a similar internal program that you qualify for refinancing or modification on your loan.
Marylou’s full presentation is available for you to review, along with her contact information if you have any questions or would like to inquire about refinancing your mortgage.
This is just a basic overview and is not legal advice specific to your situation. If you are considering bankruptcy or are feeling overwhelmed by debt, you should speak with an attorney in your area for legal advice. If you live in Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Santa Clara County, or San Joaquin County and would like to speak with me regarding your situation, please email me at [email protected] or call 925-586-6738.