Tuesday, November 1, 2011

HARP 2.0 a heavenly sound, or another sour note?

Last week we heard the good news that President Obama would order changes to the HARP program now popularly referred to as HARP 2.0. The basics are that any borrower with an LTV ratio above 80 percent is eligible for a HARP refinance, as long as the loan was sold to Fannie or Freddie prior to May 31, 2009, and the borrower is not delinquent on their payments. That Fannie/Freddie requirement tempered the joy of the announcement as many homeowners checked to find that their loans are not eligible.

But there was another provision of HARP 2.0 that did not make the top of the headlines. There are incentives for private lenders to adopt the program as well. It seems to be having a positive effect. The four largest banks (Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, and Citigroup) are planning to voluntarily offer HARP 2.0 financing.

Details of the private financing options are expected to be published by early December. Could this be an unexpected holiday bonus that will make for a happy new year for those who have kept up our mortgage payments in hope of some kind of redemptive change? Well, we have seen rosy roll-outs before that turned out to nothing more long series of brake lights in a tunnel. This time, however, it genuinely looks like millions of homeowners are on the verge of getting substantial relief. Stay tuned or check in with me to find out how to see if you are eligible under the current changes, or might be in the future.

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