The government's revamped HARP mortgage program is a lifeline to underwater homeowners. No matter how high your loan's LTV -- from 125% to unlimited LTV -- HARP makes refinancing possible.
More than 6 million households are expected to take advantage of HARP between today and the program's close date of December 31, 2015. Like everything in real estate, though, HARP refinances are local. Some states remain more HARP-heavy than other.
The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) is a government-backed loan program, meant to help U.S. homeowners who owe more than their home is worth. The HARP refinance program is widely available today at the nation's largest and smallest banks -- California to Florida, and everywhere in between.
The HARP program guidelines were recently rewritten in order to be looser and more accommodative to households with little or no equity. The new release -- dubbed HARP 2.0 -- is a big improvement from the original HARP program from 2009 and is expected to give more than 7 million homeowners access to today's mortgage rates, irrespective of loan-to-value, credit score, income, and history of bankruptcy or foreclosure.
The HARP 2.0 mortgage guidelines are available online and, judging by the amount of HARP 2.0 interest to-date, the government's 7-million-household estimate should be easily exceeded. Homeowners are jumping on the HARP 2.0 program, eager to lower their mortgage rates and monthly mortgage payments.
When HARP 2.0 was announced in October 2011, pent-up demand for an "underwater mortgage" program was clean within minutes.
From all corners of the country, wannabe HARP households applied for the program, in hopes of finally getting a chance to refinance. And, although HARP 2.0 was unavailable on a widespread basis until March 2012 -- during the five months up to its "launch" -- homeowners still applied for HARP 2.0 in droves.
This particular website, for example, via the Live Rate Quotes tool in the right sidebar, received exactly 11,650 distinct queries for the HARP 2.0 refinance program between October 2011 and the end of March 2012.
11,650 HARP 2.0 queries is a sizable sample, large enough against which to draw some conclusions regarding web-searching HARP 2.0 mortgage applicants. One thing's apparent -- HARP 2.0 applicants are concentrated by state.
The Top 10 States For HARP mortgage rate queries are :
These 10 states account for 72% of the national HARP 2.0 queries, such that the remaining forty states account for just twenty-eight percent of the overall inquiries.
Also noteworthy is that neither North Dakota nor South Dakota have registered a single HARP query since October; and that Alaska, Wyoming and Vermont have accounted for just 2 queries each. This is likely the result of a combination of factors including strong local economies, positive home value growth since 2007 and the propensity for residents of certain parts of the country to avoid the internet for personal finance matters.
Are you a HARP 2.0 candidate looking for mortgage rates, or checking your eligibility? If you have less than 20% equity in your home and you've made your mortgage payment on time for the past 6 months, you may be HARP-eligible.
Get started with a rate quote and see what HARP 2.0 can do for you.
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.
Marie M. Real Estate Agent
I have been a Realtor for more than 30 years and enjoy The Mortgage Reports. It's terrific to learn something new almost every day.
Thaddeus C. Systems Analyst
I am an aspiring homeowner and The Mortgage Reports helps me daily. Thank you for your excellent information.
Ricardo P. Project Manager
The Mortgage Reports is awesome. The site is extremely helpful, keeps you up-to-date, and puts you ahead of the game. Add The Mortgage Reports to your reading list!
2016 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)