Are you one of the many homeowners’ in Washington State who have been unable to benefit from the government’s “Home Affordable Refinance Program” or “HARP”? That might be about to change.
Congress recently confirmed Mel Watt as the new Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) which controls Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Watt is seen as being much more consumer friendly than the former director and likely to engineer an overhaul to the HARP program to help homeowner’s who have not been able to benefit thus far.
What could HARP 3.0 entail?
- Reduced Fees. Fannie and Freddie have been tacking substantial fees on to HARP loans and we could see those fees reduced or eliminated making the loans more affordable for consumers.
- Expanded Eligibility. Up to this point only those loans that were sold to Fannie or Freddie before June 1, 2009 have been eligible for the HARP program. We could see this date pushed out by months, or even a year or two, which would open the door to many borrowers who were not able to refinance previously, or who refinanced in the early days of HARP at significantly higher interest rates.
- Non-Fannie/Freddie Loans. One of the biggest frustrations for homeowners has been the inability of those with non Fannie or Freddie owned mortgages to qualify. Many of the loans originated by major banks and mortgage lending institutions were sold to private investors or were never Fannie/Freddie eligible. In addition most mortgage loans with balances of more than $417,000 were not eligible. If HARP 3.0 opens the door to these loans many additional borrowers would be able to benefit from the program.
While nothing is certain we are cautiously optimistic that HARP 3.0 could be here sooner rather than later. If your property is located in Washington State and are interested in learning more about how you could benefit click here.