Benefits of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) in Massachusetts

HARP is a mortgage refinance program that is part of an effort called Making Home Affordable (MHA) by the Departments of the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It is designed to help homeowners with good payment history but who are having issues refinancing since the price of their real estate has dropped below the balance of their mortgage. Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) benefits for the Massachusetts area can be found in this article.

Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) Benefits For The Massachusetts Area

HARP is a critical option for homeowners who may have no other refinance solution or who may otherwise experience foreclosure. It not only offers the means to refinance at current interest rates but also to eliminate mortgage insurance. These two changes can significantly lower monthly loan payments. There are closing expenses involved which differ among lenders. Some charges can be included in the mortgage to reduce up-front money required to close. HARP is an important program that has already helped many homeowners.

Who Qualifies for HARP

Individuals interested in HARP must first meet some preliminary guidelines. This is for informational purposes only and does not in any way promise approval for a mortgage.

  • You must NOT be behind on your loan.
  • You must have made payments on time over the previous 12 months.
  • Your mortgage must be owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Note that this is different from the company that services your loan.
  • The loan must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
  • The loan company performing the refinance must be approved by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
  • Your loan amount must be more than 80 percent but lower than 125 percent of the market value of the property.
  • You must refinance before December 31, 2013.

Getting Started with HARP

If you are unable to refinance with traditional methods and wish to evaluate the HARP alternative, there are a couple things that you should start off with. You should first find out whether your existing loan is guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and if so, if it originated prior to the May 31, 2009 cut off. Contact the mortgage company servicing your loan for this information. You may then find a lender approved by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac for the refinance. Depending on your type of mortgage, you may not be required to use the existing mortgage provider, although you have the option to do so if they are an approved provider. You will be asked to submit a formal loan application and be subject to the approval process. After the lender reviews the personal information, the details of the current loan, and the property details, they will let you know whether your loan is approved.

For additional Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) benefits for the Massachusetts area, contact Jared Swanson at Keller Williams Realty by calling 617-207-8060 or emailing jared@swansonhometeam.com. You may also visit the informational website at http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/.