The Home Affordable Refinance Program was re-launched as HARP 2.0 on October 24, 2011. Dubbed "HARP 2.0", the updates expanded the original Home Affordable Refinance Program to help reach additional U.S. homeowners.
Demand for HARP 2.0 has been huge -- and lopsided by state.
The Home Affordable Refinance Program didn't always allow for unlimited LTV. When it was first launched in 2009 as part of the government's Making Home Affordable push, HARP capped homeowners at 125 percent loan-to-value nationwide, while imposing other restrictions, too.
For example, under the original HARP, homeowners paying monthly private mortgage insurance (PMI) were typically precluded from using HARP, as were homeowners who wanted to switch mortgage servicers.
These restrictions stunted HARP's reach.
The government had expected the "Obama Refi" to reach up to 7 million U.S. households. Within its first 2 years, however, HARP had helped fewer than even one million households.
HARP 2.0 was a restart. The revamped program did away with appraisals (in most cases) and gave underwater homeowners the ability to work with any HARP-participating lender. Furthermore, it helped to simplify the refinance process for loans with existing PMI -- both borrower-paid and lender-paid.
HARP 2 has been a hit. More than 1.5 million HARP 2.0 loans will close in 2013.
Since the launch of HARP 2, this website has logged more than 56,000 requests for HARP mortgage rates.
Those queries have spanned the nation -- there have been requests from all 50 states and the District of Columbia -- but have also concentrated geographically. There have been far more HARP requests from states hard-hit by last decade's housing market turndown.
More than half of the inbound HARP 2.0 queries have come from just six states nationwide :
The remaining 44 states plus the District of Columbia account for the remaining HARP 2 queries. The three states with the fewest Home Affordable Refinance Program mortgage rate requests are Vermont, North Dakota and South Dakota.
HARP is slated to expire December 31, 2015 and, prior to its expiration, the program may get revised again. There is growing talk of a HARP 3.0 mortgage program which may expand the underwater program to non-Fannie Mae and non-Freddie Mac mortgages; and which may open HARP to more U.S. homeowners overall.
HARP 3.0 could give refinancing opportunities to homeowners in all 50 states. Today's program is restricted to U.S. households which meet the existing Home Affordable Refinance Program standards.
Or, HARP 3.0 may take a different shape à la the Boxer-Menendez Bill which aims to remove refinance hurdles for underwater homeowners including the removal of most closing costs. This program is sometimes referred to as #MyRefi.
Either way, see what today's HARP mortgage rates can do for you. Rates are available online. It's fast and free.
The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parent, or affiliates.
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2015 Conforming, FHA, & VA Loan Limits
Mortgage loan limits for every U.S. county, as published by Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)