Homeowners able to refinance at record low interest rates.
At long last there is some good news for homeowners who have witnessed the worst real estate slump since the Great Depression. The U.S. Government has relaxed the qualifying requirements for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), making it easier for homeowners to refinance at today’s historically low interest rates.
Known as “HARP 2.0”, this refinance program is a significant improvement over the original HARP program that received mixed reviews when it was rolled out in 2009. At that time, the U.S. Government was trying to spur homeowners who had an existing Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage to refinance to a lower interest rate. However, while the original HARP program was well intentioned, it contained one important flaw—it couldn’t help homeowners whose homes were “underwater”, or valued less than the principal balance of their mortgage.
By contrast, the HARP 2.0 program is a lifesaver for those homeowners who have consistently paid their mortgage on time, but have been unable to refinance because of the reduced value of their home. The timing certainly couldn’t be better—mortgage rates have dropped to historic lows, enabling scores of homeowners to significantly reduce their mortgage payments.
If you have an existing Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage that was taken out prior to May 31, 2009, and you’ve had no late payments in the past six months, you may be eligible for HARP 2.0. There are other qualifications to be sure, so we advise you to contact one of the licensed, non-commissioned loan officers at James B. Nutter & Company (800-466-3733) for more information, or www.makinghomeaffordable.gov .
Refinancing your mortgage is still one of the easiest ways to give yourself a raise. Thanks to the new HARP 2.0 program, homeowners with little or no equity in their home can take advantage of record low interest rates and “take home” more of their hard-earned cash.