Take Advantage of the Federal HARP & HAMP Programs While You Can

  • 4 years   ago
  • 1735

The Obama administration made it a priority to help borrowers keep their homes by introducing two new programs to help consumers refinance or modify their mortgage loans:

1. The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)
2. The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)

The two programs target different categories of borrowers. HARP is aimed at homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages. In other words, it is aimed at people who owe more on their loans than their homes are worth.

In order qualify for HARP, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must have obtained your home before May 31, 2009
  • The loan-to-value ratio on your home must be greater than 80%
  • You need to be current on your mortgage, with no late payments in the last 6 months, and no more than 1 late payment in the last 12 months
  • The home you wish to refinance must be either your primary residence, a single unit second home or a 1-4 unit investment property.  
  • Your loan must be owned by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation or by the Federal National Mortgage Association

HAMP, on the other hand, is designed for consumers who have fallen behind on their mortgages due to financial hardship and still owe up to approximately $73,000 on their on their loan. If this sounds like you, you could be eligible for a loan modification as long as you meet the following additional qualifications:

  • You obtained your mortgage on or before January 1, 2009
  • You have not been convicted of a crime related to mortgages or real estate transactions in the last 10 years
  • Your home has not been condemned
  • You live in the home
  • The home is a personal residence or a 1-4 unit investments property
  • Your current mortgage payment, property taxes, and insurance payments comprise more than 31% of your gross monthly income.

Both HARP and HAMP have been in place since 2009 and were due to expire at the end of 2015, but the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced previously this year that they will be extending the deadline for the incredibly successful refinancing programs until the end of 2016.

This is great news for anyone who meets the eligibility requirements and hasn’t already taken advantage of the assistance the programs provide.

These programs are really important opportunities for anyone who can qualify, and because of this new and supposedly final extension to HARP and HAMP, you still have time to take advantage of the relief offered under these FHFA programs. So, don’t miss your chance to save money and potentially avoid foreclosure or a short sale.