On March 17, 2012 the U.S Government rolled out the H.A.R.P. 2.0 Refinance Program. This mortgage loan program allows U.S. homeowners the ability to refinance their homes regardless of their equity position.
H.A.R.P. (Home Affordable Refinance Program) was started in early 2009 to give responsible borrowers the opportunity to refinance to a lower interest rate even though they owed more on their home than the appraised value. With the first H.A.R.P. program there were loan to value restrictions, originally home owners could borrow up to 105% of their homes value. Later it increased to 125%. The main difference between H.A.R.P. and H.A.R.P. 2.0 is the loan to value cap has been lifted. Now borrowers can refinance regardless of home value.
The HARP Program was not designed to assist homeowners who are in default, foreclosure or are not able to make timely payments. The program was originally designed for borrowers who have only the value of their property standing in the way of refinancing.
The first HARP needed some tweaking, there were some bumps in the road with borrowers having second mortgage lien holders not willing to subordinate, private mortgage insurance companies not willing to write policies on the new higher LTV’s, and lenders basically not willing to take the risk or would charge such a premium on the loan it would offset any benefit.
The new HARP loan has addressed many of these issues and should clear the way for more homeowners to take advantage of the program.
Qualifying for this program is easy: