KEY LINKS:    Fannie Mae Loan Lookup    or     Freddie Mac Loan Lookup  




Q:  What is HARP?

A:  HARP stands for Home Affordable Refinance Program.  It is a new government program aimed at helping homeowners refinance their homes at current interest rates EVEN IF THE VALUE OF THE PROPERTY HAS DECLINED SUBSTANTIALLY since the time the current mortgage was originated.


Q:  What is the difference between the original HARP program and HARP 2.0?

A:  There are three primary differences:  1) There is no longer any limit on how high your mortgage balance can be in relation to the value of your home; 2) credit scores are no longer a determining factor; and 3) debt-to-income ratios are more liberal.  Note:  Not all lenders are participating in HARP 2.0!


Q:  Is everyone eligible for HARP?

A:  No.  There are strict guidelines for determining whether the EXISTING MORTGAGE is eligible, whether the PROPERTY is eligible, and whether the BORROWER is eligible.  That is why you want to work with a company that fully understands all of the nuances of the Program!


Q:  How can I determine if my EXISTING MORTGAGE is eligible for HARP 2.0?

A:  Again, there are three main criteria:  1) The loan must be owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac; 2) The loan must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009; and 3) if the loan amount exceeds the “high balance” limit for your county, you will need to provide evidence of sufficient liquidity to pay the balance down to the current loan limit.


Q:  How can I determine if my PROPERTY is eligible for HARP 2.0?

A:  Most 1-4 unit residential property types are eligible for HARP 2.0, including owner-occupied, second homes, investment properties, condominiums, PUD’s, and manufactured housing.


Q:  How can I determine if I am eligible for HARP 2.0?

A:  There are no set guidelines, other than you must have made all mortgage payments on time during the last six months and can only have a maximum of one late payment for the preceding six months.  Otherwise, the automated underwriting system will weigh all factors in determining the borrower’s eligibility.


Q:  What information will you need to determine if my mortgage, my property, and I am eligible for HARP?

A:  Check out these links to see if your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac .  If it is, contact us at 800-890-1500 to discuss next steps!  Important Note:  Even if your loan is not on the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac website, it is still possible that the loan might be owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.  The only way to find out is to contact your loan servicer and ask them who "owns" your loan.


Q:  Will my property need to be appraised?

A:  That is up to the lender’s discretion.  However, the purpose of the appraisal is not for qualifying the property for HARP, it is only to determine the risk category of the new loan.


Q:  What if I have a second mortgage or home equity line?

A:  Your existing lender will need to subordinate to the new HARP loan.  Most lenders are willing to do this because the HARP refinancing will lower the risk of default on your first mortgage, thereby also lowering your risk of default on their second mortgage.


Q:  What will it cost to refinance my current mortgage with a HARP loan?

A:  POSSIBLY NOTHING!  At Greater Bay Mortgage, we prefer to do “No Cost” loans whenever possible.  If for some reason we can’t do a no cost loan, we’ll go through the costs with you in detail right up front.  We know you don’t like last minute surprises, and neither do we!!



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