By Alison Paoli
The HARP 2.0 refinance program became widely available to underwater homeowners on Monday and is expected to bring mortgage relief to those who are current on their home loan, but have been unable to refinance into today’s historically low mortgage rates because of their negative equity status.
The full implementation of the revamped HARP 2.0 program, which was initially announced by President Obama in late October of 2011, has taken several months to come to fruition. And while in recent months it has been available on a manual basis and limited to just the homeowner’s current servicer, the series of changes that the computerized version of the program underwent this past weekend will dramatically increase the volume and speed of applications processed (think flying 100 people across the ocean versus 100 people swimming across it).
To be eligible for a HARP refinance, you can either use this HARP eligibility calculator with detailed eligibility explanations or follow the general guidelines below:
1. Your loan must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. If you are unsure, you can check both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s websites or you can call their toll-free number for confirmation.
Fannie Mae: http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup/ 1-800-7FANNIE (8 am to 8 pm ET)
Freddie Mac: https://ww3.freddiemac.com/corporate/ 1-800-FREDDIE (8 am to 8 pm ET)