Friday, January 13, 2023

New Government Harp Replacement Program

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Loans Refinanced Under New Enhanced Relief Refinance Program To Be Retained In Crt Pools

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Publishes HARP Historical Dataset to Increase Transparency for Investors

MCLEAN, VA– – Freddie Mac today announced that loans referenced in credit risk transfer pools that are subsequently refinanced under the new Enhanced Relief Refinance program will be retained in the original structures to preserve credit loss protection, beginning with Structured Agency Credit Risk and Agency Credit Insurance Structure transactions that reference loans originated on or after October 1, 2017. The ERR program pdf is a new refinance offering that will replace the Home Affordable Refinance Program upon its termination in December 2018 – HARP loans are currently excluded from CRT reference pools.

“By helping underwater borrowers to refinance, the ERR program is intended to reduce credit losses and by retaining those loans in our original reference pools we preserve credit loss protection on them,” said Michael Reynolds, vice president of credit risk transfer.

To help investors analyze and model for ERR in CRT reference pools, Freddie Mac has published historical HARP loan level data disclosures as a proxy. The HARP dataset will augment the existing Freddie Mac Single-Family Loan Level Dataset, which provides loan-level performance data on approximately 23.5 million fixed-rate, single-family mortgages originated between January 1, 1999, and June 30, 2016.

The HARP dataset can be accessed at .

You Need A Net Tangible Benefit To Berefi

Both HARP replacement programs require a net tangible benefit to qualify. That means youre only eligible if the refinance will improve your financial situation in a clear way.

The new mortgage must offer at least one of these benefits:

  • Lower mortgage interest rate
  • Lower monthly principal and interest payment
  • Shorter loan term
  • Replacing an adjustable-rate mortgage with a fixed-rate mortgage

If todays mortgage rates are significantly lower than your current rate, theres a good chance youll meet the net tangible benefit requirement.

Va Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan

If you have a VA loan, the IRRRL may be a good refinance option, especially if you have little to no equity in your home.

  • Hold a current VA loan
  • No more than one 30-day late payment within the past 12 months
  • Refinance passes the net tangible benefit test
  • Certify that you currently live or previously lived on the property
  • No minimum credit score or appraisal
  • No private mortgage insurance
  • May refinance up to 100% of the homes value

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What Are Harps Benefit To The Borrower And Net Tangible Benefit Requirements

All HARP refinances have to demonstrate whats called a Net Tangible Benefit , also called a benefit to the borrower. In simple terms, the refinance must put the borrower in a better financial position. Some examples of an NTB are

  • Reduction in intert rate and payment
  • Refinancing an ARM into a Fixed
  • Refinancing a 30-year loan into a 15-year loan

Most borrowers are savvy enough to know when a refinance will benefit them. However, Fannie and Freddie require lenders to complete certain forms making sure the refinance pencils out to the positive for the borrower as an added protection.

Harp Eligibility And Requirements

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With HARP, borrowers had the ability to refinance at lower interest rates to allow more flexibility in monthly budgets.

The goal of a HARP loan is to help make your monthly payments more affordable, but you have to demonstrate you are capable of paying your loan on time.

To qualify, borrowers had to meet HARP eligibility requirements such as:

  • An underwater loan. An underwater mortgage is when you owe more on your mortgage than your house is worth. Another measurement of an at-risk mortgage is if your current loan-to-value ratio is above 80%. HARP refinances included an appraisal to determine your homes current value.

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  • On-time payments. The goal of a HARP loan was to help make monthly payments more affordable, but borrowers had to demonstrate that they had been making their payments on time. They had to have no payments more than 30 days late in the past six months and no more than one late payment in the past 12 months.

  • A loan owned or backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Both organizations provide online and telephone loan-lookup options.

  • A mortgage that was originated on or before May 31, 2009. Also, the home had to be the primary residence, a second home or an investment property.

Review NerdWallet’s guide to refinancing your mortgage to see if other avenues might make sense for you.

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Harp Replacement Programs For Underwater Homeowners

The Home Affordable Refinance Program was created in the wake of the housing crisis as a way for homeowners with little or no equity to refinance.

Fortunately, home values have been increasing steadily in recent years. And the number of underwater homeowners has fallen sharply. As a result, millions of homeowners are eligible to refinance at todays low rates.

Even if you had an underwater loan in the past, its worth re-checking your eligibility. You might be surprised how much equity youve gained in the past year.

In this article

Is The Harp Replacement Program Legit

Homeowners with FHA, VA, and USDA loans should look into Streamline refinancing options, including the VA IRRRL for VA mortgages. Is the HARP replacement program legitimate? Yes, HARP replacement programs FMERR and HIRO are run by legitimate mortgage agencies regulated by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

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Is The Harp Replacement Program Available In 2022

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Back in 2006, money was easy to borrow, interest rates were low, and housing prices were booming. But then the financial crisis hit, and by 2009, nearly a quarter of U.S. homeowners found themselves underwater on their home loans.

Many had taken advantage of the loose money markets to refinance their homes and cash out the equity they had built up. When the recession hit, home prices began bottoming out, leaving them in serious financial trouble.

The government came to the rescue with HARP and various HARP replacement program options to help Americans get financing and avoid foreclosure.

But the housing market is booming again, so are these programs still available? Lets take a look at what your options are now.

What Is A Harp Replacement Program

HAARP opens its doors to the public, but some minds prove hard to change

When housing prices started falling, many mortgage holders started to find that they owed more on their mortgage than their house could sell for. This negative equity often referred to as being upside-down or underwater meant they could no longer qualify to refinance their home to reduce their payments.

Being underwater on a home loan makes it difficult to sell a house and blocks your ability to refinance. Homeowners with negative equity are also at greater risk of foreclosure.

The Home Affordable Refinance Program or HARP was a way to help homeowners get lower rates and payments despite their negative equity situation. Under HARP, new lending guidelines helped people save money on their mortgages and hold on to their houses.

The HARP program expired at the end of 2018 after being renewed twice, which led to the need for a new solution. The replacement programs provided included Fannie Maes HIRO and Freddie Macs FMERR .

These programs opened up in 2019 with a few differences from HARP. The loans had to be owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, at least 15 months old, and opened on or after October 1, 2017. Whether you were refinancing mobile homes or mansions, you had to prove a benefit like getting a lower interest rate or reducing your monthly payment.

But as the economy has bounced back along with home prices, both programs have been put on indefinite hold due to the low volume of applications.

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What Is The Credit Score Requirement For Harp Replacement Programs

There is no official minimum credit score for Fannie Mae or Freddie Macs programs. Mortgage lenders, on the other hand, are free to set their own credit requirements. If your credit score is an issue, find out what lenders want for FMERR or HIRO before applying.

Refinance options available today might help homeowners who are having difficulty making ends meet. Refinancing can help consumers lock in a lower rate and monthly payment in the long term because mortgage rates are still at record lows.

Now is the time to see if you qualify for a mortgage refinance.

The Tricky Problems Hero Loans Can Cause

As a homeowner, you strive for energy efficiency to lower your bills, and advancements in design and technology are re-shaping energy usage constantly. One way homeowners have financed important energy-efficiency improvements is through a HERO loan, a government-backed loan that is paid back through property taxes.

A Home Energy Renovation Opportunity loan can provide you with a unique financing opportunity if you want to invest in long-term changes that will cut energy costs. However, while the loans are attractive in some ways, they can make it difficult to sell or refinance your home.

Lets discuss where HERO loan programs originated, how the program works, the sorts of problems they can cause you, and some tips to help homeowners who already have a HERO loan.

Whats a HERO loan?

Simply put, HERO loans are government-backed loans offered to homeowners to cover the cost of energy-efficient improvements that are later repaid through property taxes.

The HERO loan is offered as part of the Property Assessed Clean Energy programs, which are enacted by governments to help commercial and residential property owners finance sustainable products. These programs, which vary greatly around the U.S., incentivize owners to invest in energy-efficient improvements with a government-backed loan that does not require any money paid upfront.

The Hidden Risks of HERO Loan Programs

Tips If You Have a HERO Loan

Making The Right Decision Upfront

How to Get HERO Help

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Why Dont I Qualify For Harp

While the HARP program has evolved over the years to allow more borrowers to qualify, there are still several reasons why you wouldnt qualify for HARP, including:

  • Bad credit. Some borrowers can’t qualify due to impaired credit or too many late payments on their existing mortgage.
  • Equity issues. HARP has no maximum LTV ratio for borrowers who obtain a new fixed-rate mortgage, a maximum LTV ratio of 105 percent for borrowers who get a new adjustable-rate mortgage, and a minimum LTV ratio of 80 percent for all loan types. However, lenders typically impose their own guidelines, called “overlays,” which may include different LTV rules.
  • No re-HARPs. Homeowners can only utilize the HARP program once.
  • Fannie and Freddie. You will not qualify for HARP if your mortgage is not owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

FHFA Senior Policy Analyst Michelle Murphy says borrowers who’ve previously been denied for HARP should try again and shop around.

“Call your current lender and share with them that you want to explore a HARP refinance,” she says. “If you’re denied, find out the reason and don’t be discouraged. You may be able to refinance with another lender.”

Q: Does The Exclusion For Qualified Principal Residence Indebtedness Apply To Amounts Discharged Under A Pra Principal Reduction

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A4: The exclusion for qualified principal residence indebtedness may apply to a discharge of indebtedness under a PRA principal reduction if the amount discharged meets the criteria for qualified principal residence indebtedness. Under current law, this exclusion does not apply to discharges that occur after Dec. 31, 2013. For further discussion of the qualified principal residence exclusion, see the questions and answers on The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation page.

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To Start Verify Your Mortgage Type

The kind of mortgage you have may determine what types of assistance are available to you.

  • The GSEs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, deal with conventional loans.

  • The Federal Housing Administration insures FHA loans.

  • The Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees VA loans.

  • The Department of Agriculture offers USDA loans.

You can find out if your conventional mortgage is owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae using the loan look-up tools on their websites.

To verify whether you have an FHA, VA or USDA loan, find your closing documents and look for the Closing Disclosure. In the upper right of the first page of this document, under Loan Information, youll see checkboxes indicating your loan type: conventional, FHA, VA or other.

If you cant locate this document, try looking at your monthly mortgage statement or contacting your lender at the phone number listed on the statement.

Regardless of mortgage type, contact your lender to discuss relief options. The federal government has encouraged all lenders to support homeowners who need mortgage assistance due to hardship brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Benefits Of A High Ltv Refinance

Here are some of the benefits of a high LTV refinance through Fannie Mae:

  • No mortgage insurance– If you dont currently have it, you wont need it for your new loan. Borrowers who have mortgage insurance must have it transferred to their new loan.
  • Easy qualifying requirements– Theres no minimum credit score or maximum debt-to-income ratio with this program. You may not have to verify your income, assets, or liability information either.
  • Quick to process– In many cases, a lender can process a high LTV refinance faster than a standard refinance.

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Know The Dates And Seasoning Time Of Your Loan

One extremely important guideline of the RRP states that only loans that closed on or after October 1 of 2017 will be eligible. Any loans that were closed prior to this date are not able to qualify for the new refinance program.

Every loan that goes through the RRP must be properly seasoned. This seasoning means that the loan should have closed for at least 15 months and homeowners should have been paying for the loan for that amount of time or longer. If the loan is 15 months or older, it can close through the RRP refinance.

A Brief Background On The Harp Loan Program

Why is Project HAARP so controversial?

Before delving into the HARP replacement programs, we need to answer the question, what is the HARP program? In April 2009, the Federal Housing Finance Agency developed the Home Affordable Refinance Program as a government initiative in response to the financial crisis that rocked the United States between 2007 and 2008.

The goal was to assist homeowners who needed to refinance loans on houses that were worth less than their current mortgage balance. Also, HARP was designed for borrowers with a loan-to-value ratio of more than 80 percent.

Since these borrowers typically have problems refinancing due to a lack of equity on their homes, theyre unable to benefit from lower interest rates. Thats where the HARP program mortgages came to their rescue.

The HARP program was billed to stop at the end of 2016, but the government decided to extend it for another two years, after which it was officially terminated in 2018.

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Q: Does A Homeowner Have Income As A Result Of The Governments Having Paid Some Of The Homeowners Mortgage Loan By Making A Pra Investor Incentive Payment To The Holder Of The Loan

A2: No. This payment by the government on behalf of the homeowner is excludible from the homeowners income under the general welfare exclusion. Excluding this amount from the homeowners gross income is consistent with the treatment of Pay-for-Performance Success Payments, which are addressed in Revenue Ruling 2009-19 PDF.

The Home Affordable Refinance Program : What You Need To Know

On Monday, the federal government announced that it would revise the Home Affordable Refinance Program , implementing changes that The Washington Posts Zachary A. Goldfarb reported would allow many more struggling borrowers to refinance their mortgages at todays ultra-low rates, reducing monthly payments for some homeowners and potentially providing a modest boost to the economy.

The HARP program, which was rolled out in 2009, is designed to help. Those who are underwater on their homes and owe more than the homes are worth. So far, The Post reported, it has reached less than one-tenth of the 5 million borrowers it was designed to help. Heres a quick breakdown of what you need to know about the changes.

What was announced? The enhancements will allow some homeowners who are not currently eligible to refinance to do so under HARP. The changes cut fees for borrowers who want to refinance into short-term mortgages and some other borrowers. They also eliminate a cap that prevented underwater borrowers who owe more than 125 percent of what their property is worth from accessing the program.

How do I take advantage of HARP? According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the first step borrowers should take is to see whether their mortgages are owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. If so, borrowers should contact lenders that offer HARP refinances.

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How To Refinance Second Mortgages Heres What You Need To Know

Many homeowners refinance their mortgage at least once during the lifespan of their loan. If you already have a second mortgage, you may not have considered the possibility of refinancing your second mortgage. Refinancing second mortgages may prove to be beneficial for homeowners who are looking for lower interest rates and monthly payments.

Refinancing a second mortgage is generally similar to refinancing the first mortgage, but there may be different reasons to refinance again.

If you want to learn about refinancing your second mortgage, then read on. Youll need to take some steps in order to refinance.

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