A three-year-old Obama Administration program that helps homeowners refinance “underwater” mortgages held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has reached 2 million borrowers, with half occurring in 2012 alone.
In just November, the Home Affordable Refinance Program assisted 130,000 homeowners, a new monthly record, according to an update from Fannie and Freddie’s independent regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
An expansion of HARP in the spring of 2012 accelerated the pace and popularity of the administration’s effort to help ease the impact of the housing meltdown on millions of underwater homeowners who owe more in mortgage debt than the value of their homes.
Between January and November of 2012, nearly 1 million loans were refinanced through the program.
The overhaul of HARP included removing debt-to-value limits for underwater borrowers, significantly widening eligibility.
In November, 46 percent of the loans refinanced through HARP had loan-to-value (LTV) ratios greater than 105 percent, and 24 percent had LTVs greater than 125 percent.
In Nevada alone, HARP represented 69 percent of total refinances in Nevada, while in Florida HARP amounted to 56 percent of total refinance volume.
In November, HARP represented 23 percent of all refinancing transactions.
According to Fannie Mae, HARP may be an option if:
- You are “current” on your mortgage payments (“current” means you have not been 30 days or more late in the last six months and you were not more than one time 30 days late in the six-month period prior to the last six months)
- Your home value has decreased
- You have limited equity or your first mortgage exceeds the current market value of the home (i.e., your loan-to-value ratio must be > 80% to be eligible)
- Your loan is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Check the Fannie Mae Loan Lookup tool.
- Your loan was acquired by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009 (this date can be found in the Loan Lookup results)