Mortgage Help & Relief Programs

Mortgage Relief Programs
If you are one of many Americans who are devastated by unemployment, owing more than what your home is worth, or financial setbacks, you may be eligible for various mortgage relief programs. A mortgage relief program is a program designed to help lower mortgage payments or interest rates for homeowners, either by loans, government agencies, and other agencies as well including HUD and HARP.

You may qualify for a help through a program called HARP. HARP is the Home Affordable Refinance Program, which aids in getting a more affordable and stable mortgage. All you need to do is pass the application process and pay a refinance fee. Contact your loan provider to see if you are eligible for HARP.

If you have lost your home due to foreclosure you could get cash back of $1,800-$2,000 or have debt forgiven. If your mortgage is serviced or owns by JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank, Bank of America or Ally financial you may be eligible and should receive a claim in the mail. You can always contact your Attorney General’s Office and they can forward you the information you need.

For those of you who are struggling at making payments on time or risk no payment at all, you may be eligible for loan modification to lower your monthly payments. In the case of unemployment you could get a forbearance and have the foreclosure of your home postponed. You could also receive funds to relocate. You may be contacted by one of five mortgage providers, but it’s always a great idea to contact your service to gain information on available options to your current circumstances.

Last you can contact a certified counselor through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to assist you. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which is a program through HUD, can help you purchase a 1-4 unit home with a down payment as low as 3.5% of the price to purchase. Seniors may be able to get a mortgage reversal through FHA and get a portion of their equity back in cash if they currently live in their home or have a low loan balance.

HARP 2.0 The Most Important Program

HARP 2.0 And The New Borrower
The first Home Affordable Recovery Program helped nearly 1 million homeowners in the United States who found themselves under water, to refinance a more comfortable mortgage repayment plan. The second wave of government-backed refinancing, known as HARP 2.0, extends the original HARP benefits to a new wave of homeowners.


HARP 2.0 is a continuation of the original HARP bill. It was approved in 2012, and designed to speed the mortgage refinancing process. HARP 2.0 allows home owners who owe at least 125% of the value of their property, to refinance through securities programs authorized by the United States government.

HARP 2.0 is available because of a stunted housing sector recovery that has not matched the general recovery in the economy. This means that home owners who missed the first HARP deadlines, have another chance to create affordable property repayment plans that are more in line with the post 2012 US economic climate.

The most beneficial aspect of HARP 2.0 is the provision that home owners can seek refinancing regardless of their degree of being under water. Under the first HARP program, some borrowers where doomed to foreclosure. HARP 2.0 has set provisions for borrowers no matter how serious their debt has become. The underwriting process for risky mortgages has been widened in favor of the home owner.

HARP 2.0 provisions are available to any borrower holding an agreement financed by the duo of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The mortgages must have been activated prior to June 1, 2009. There must be no late payments in the past six months, and no more than two late payments in the last calendar year. HARP 2.0 beneficiaries are seeking first time refinancing help. Original HARP applicants are not eligible for HARP 2.0 benefits.

HARP 2.0 is full of incentives for lenders because it helps release them from certain liabilities. This means lenders are more free to help home owners who have become under water after the last HARP initiative. This is a second chance for borrowers and lenders to mutually benefit in the modern housing market, via a new system of repayment options.

The Reason Why The HARP 2.0 Mortgage Program Was Started
The Home Affordable Refinance Program 2.0 (HARP 2.0) was launched to eliminate some of the frustrations homeowners where facing in terms of refinancing their mortgages. The original HARP, even though it was created to allow borrowers to refinance their mortgage loans, the program also carried certain restrictions that prevented thousands of homeowners whose home values were under water from refinancing their mortgage loans.

For instance, when the government launched the original HARP as part of the stimulus plan, it was supposed to allow homeowners whose homes value were under water to refinance their loans. However, even though the guidelines stipulated that a mortgage loan that was underwater up to 125 percent of its value could be refinanced, some lenders didn’t want to refinance beyond 105 percent of the value of any home. This is one of the major reasons why the HARP 2.0 mortgage program was formed.

Essentially, it was to get rid of some of the obstacles that the original program posed, and give access to more homeowners to refinance their loans.

The HARP 2.0 mortgage program clearly provided more flexibility for refinancing. It got rid of the 125 percent loan to value cap and it doesn’t matter how far a homeowner’s loan is underwater, they can still refinance, even if there is no equity on the home. Because of the less stringent regulations with the HARP 2.0 program, a lot of home loans were refinanced in the program’s first year – a tremendous achievement because the original HARP program took three years to accomplish what HARP 2.0 did in just one year.

Regardless of the fact that HARP 2.0 now exist to help homeowners, statistics shows that there is still about a million homeowners who can benefit from the program but haven’t applied for it. Part of the reason might be knowledge, some people still do not know about it. Another part of the reason for this underutilization could be that people think they will not qualify so they don’t even bother to apply. Here are some few guidelines that can help anyone who might be thinking of using the program.

1. The program can be used to refinance even if the homeowner has a second mortgage.

2. Equity in the home is not a requirement.

3. The program can be used to refinance homes that are not owner occupied.

4. Homeowners are not restricted to refinance with their current lenders. There are thousands of mortgage lenders who offer the program.

A Few Points to Know About Fulfilling Requirements for a HARP Mortgage
First of all, your mortgage must already be under a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan. Lenders accept requests for a HARP on the basis of going through a Fannie Mae loan during a time period of March-May 2009. For more information on getting approval, visit the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac website to help clarify details. Also, you can see if you’re pre approved to go ahead with a mortgage quicker.

Another thing to note is a clear mortgage record for 12 months. When it comes to getting approval for a mortgage, lenders want to see consistency. Can you pay your bills on time? Can you be ahead of schedule? What delinquencies do you have on your record? If you are having trouble in your current mortgage, it’ll be wise to get that under control. If you do find anything on your record, wait a while and get a hold of creditors. Pay off those debts and get your house back in order.

This way you can show lenders that you are able to hold your end of the bargain. This leads to a faster approval and you may not have to go through so much annoying paperwork and background checks. Lenders always want to watch their behinds because they know the risk of homeowner getting a new mortgage.

Homeowners who have a Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae loan should pick a HARP mortgage. You’ll find that you can still get low interest rates and a higher loan to value ratio. Most lenders accept a loan to value ratio of 80. Lenders under HARP will go as far as 125%. HARP is a great solution for those in dire need of assistance in their mortgage.

The Advantages of the HARP 2.0 Mortgage Program
There is the possibility that the interest rate on a new mortgage loan may be higher than that of the old one due to the assessment of the appraisal. The terms of a new mortgage may also cause the interest rate to increase. There is a program that is able to make the process of refinancing a home simple; and lower the interest rate in the process. This program is known as the Home Affordable Refinance Program 2.0.

There are plenty of advantages to the HARP 2.0 Mortgage Program. The first is that it allows homeowners to take advantage of current market values even if they are underwater on their mortgages.

Another advantage of this program is that it lowers homeowners’ monthly payments.

The third is that if homeowners have finance their homes with a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan, income verification from at least one HARP 2.0 borrower is no longer a requirement.

The fourth is that it no longer requires the verification of large deposits on bank statements or other forms concerning assets. Finally, homeowners that financed their homes with more than one mortgage may qualify for the HARP 2.0 mortgage program.

Refinancing a home does not have to be a challenging and stressful process. It does not have to require homeowners to fill out stacks of paperwork. Nor does it have to require plenty of information from them. Appraisals are only required when current home values are not able to be determined using the automatic market value system.

Homeowners that owe more than the current value of their homes are not locked into terms that require them to overpay on their homes. Thanks to the HARP 2.0 program, many homeowners are able to keep their homes. The purpose of the Home Affordable Refinance Program 2.0 Mortgage Program is to keep homeownership alive.

HARP 2.0 Disadvantages
There are many individuals out there who are in the same agreement that there are quite a few disadvantages to the HARP programs that are out there today. There may be some confusion as to these drawbacks and disadvantages, so we will take some time in this article to further look into these disadvantages and drawbacks. This article is designed to better help you understand the drawbacks and disadvantages of the HARP 2.0 program.

When it comes to a HARP 2.0 program, this is basically a program for those who are looking to refinance their home when they owe more than the house is worth. This is a difficult position for any homeowner to be in, yet a HARP 2.0 refinancing program may not be the best solution.

The biggest drawback with this program is that the only individuals who can take advantage of this program are those who have their mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. This makes it very difficult for those who are looking to refinance their home in this situation to get that completed.

Overall it looks like the HARP program is really going in the right direction. It has been in place for quite some time now, but it needs to be more accessible to those who are in need of this program all over the board. When it comes down to it, there aren’t too many disadvantages of this program other than the fact that this is a very difficult program to actually be a part of.

It is not very often that a government program is very accessible to the general public, and this is something that needs to change. There are many different types of programs that are just like HARP. They are out there for individuals to use, but they are very difficult to actually take part of.

This is why governmental programs like HARP need to be more accessible to more individuals who are really in need of them. This will in turn help many more individuals who are really looking to better their situation on a daily basis.

HARP costs
YES!!! HARP is an extremely effective program and it is saving home owners a considerable amount of money on their mortgage payments. This is keeping people in their homes. On average people are saving just a little bit more than a hundred dollars a month on their mortgage payments. This is extremely helpful.

While this decrease in costs is extremely helpful the HARP program is not without its costs. Most people will have to pay some closing costs on their HARP refinancing. Most programs do not advertise their closing costs up front, but you will end up having to pay them. Closing costs can vary quite a bit.

Some of the highest HARP closing costs are in the thousands. Some costs have been shown as high as three or four thousand dollars. These closing costs are quite high and you would have to owe quite a bit for the costs to be worth it. There are also sometimes closing costs as low as $600. Be sure to ask about closing costs before you start refinancing your loan using HARP.

If your interest rate is extremely high, in the eight or nine percent range, then you are probably better off refinancing your loan through HARP. The lower your interest rate is the less beneficial your refinancing through HARP will be for you. It is also helpful when you are refinancing a large amount of money. If you are dealing with an extremely large loan or an extremely high interest rate, then you most likely will benefit from HARP regardless of the closing costs.

HARP is an extremely helpful program for many home owners, but it is important to evaluate how much the refinancing will cost you before you start. Look at the closing costs of using HARP before you use commit to a program that is not actually beneficial.

MHA Program – Home Affordable (MHA) Program.
FHA Loan – How to Refinance Your FHA Loan
VA Loans – Refinancing Your VA Loan Is Simple
USDA Loans – Refinancing USDA loans
FHA Short Refinance Program
FHA Second Lien Program
FHASecure Program
HOPE NOW: A Partnership for Community

Another post from Gina Wilson – Credit & Loans Specialist Blogger.

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