About Government Refinance and Home Purchase Programs

Information and Updates on Government Mortgage Programs

Archive for October, 2011...

Filed under HARP Program Loans or The Obama Refinance Program

Widely anticipated changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) were announced this morning. The updates include several but not all of the changes most borrowers have been hoping for. Among the changes are the following:

1. There is no longer a 125% loan to value limit to the program. Going forward HARP loans can theoretically work for any loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac regardless of how underwater the home is.

2. A full appraisal will not be required in all cases. Reports are that in some cases an automatic valuation system may be used.

3. Mortgage insurance providers have reportedly agreed to automatically transfer mortgage insurance coverage to the new loan. If this is true it will be a huge change because previously borrowers with mortgage insurance were not able to participate in the HARP program.

Unfortunately, the cut off dates for eligibility were not changed so any loans taken out after May of 2009 are still not eligible for the program.

The FHFA said the operational details for the program will be available by November 15th 2011. That probably means that the new program won’t be up and running with most authorized lenders until December. The question yet to be answered is how many authorized lenders will choose to participate in the new version of the program in the months to come. But assuming several authorized lenders do participate there is no denying that removing the 125% limit and the allowing borrowers with mortgage insurance to participate will open the program to vastly more borrowers.

Contact us in the sidebar to learn more about the HARP program and other government-backed refinance programs that are available.

Comments (6) Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Monday, October 24th, 2011

Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week on a new plan to help more underwater homeowners refinance to lower interest rates despite owning more on their home than the current market value. We get this from the article:

The plan under consideration would make refinancing available to some borrowers whose houses are worth less than their loans, so long as they are current on mortgage payments, according to people familiar with the matter. Such borrowers typically aren’t able to refinance because they lack equity in their homes. The plan would apply only to mortgages owned by the banks. It isn’t clear how many of those borrowers would qualify for help. Around 20% of all U.S. mortgages are owned by U.S.-chartered commercial banks; the majority are held by investors in mortgage-backed securities.

The concept is still very short on details and seems to only apply to a fairly narrow range of people. But at least it is a sign that regulators a serious about opening new programs up for underwater borrowers who currently are not able to take advantage of the HARP program or FHA streamline program. We’ll keep you posted as more news on this subject comes out.

In the meantime contact us in the sidebar to see which programs you might already qualify for. While rates are up slightly from the lows reached near the end of September they are still hovering near all time lows.

Comments Off on New idea for helping underwater homeowners being floated Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Friday, October 21st, 2011

Filed under HARP Program Loans or The Obama Refinance Program

In conjunction with the Obama administration announcing intentions to revamp and revitalize some of the government-backed refinance programs that are now in place, several US senators recently sent a letter to regulators urging improvements as well. We get this from a recent HousingWire report:

A group of 13 senators sent a letter to regulators Tuesday, pressing for a plan to boost mortgage refinancing for more homeowners as soon as possible. Such a plan is being widely-discussed admittedly, and now the lawmakers are ready to see some action.

“Time is of the essence and we urge you to act quickly and aggressively to ensure that responsible homeowners receive the full benefit of these lower rates,” the senators said in the letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Edward DeMarco, and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling.

While a letter from senators might be more show than substance, it does help show there is wide support for upgrades and changes to the HARP programs and other government-backed refinance programs. With any luck regulators will announce the changes and upgrades soon. As soon as changes are announced we will report on them here.

In the meantime, contact us in the sidebar to learn more about the government back refinance programs that are already available while rates are still hovering near all time lows.

Comments Off on Growing pressure for new mortgage refinance plans in Washington Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Filed under HARP Program Loans or The Obama Refinance Program

A few weeks ago President Obama hinted at a new mortgage refinancing plan his administration was cooking up. Most speculations since then have been that the new plan would be an expansion of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) to make it available to even more borrowers than the current version of the program. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner recently said more that would indicate a new plan will be announced soon. We get these quotes from a recent Wall Street Journal blog post:

“My sense is, based on what I’ve seen…it’s going to be meaningful enough to make a difference,” Mr. Geithner said at a Senate Banking Committee hearing…

“They are looking at a range of things and you’ll see more details in a couple of weeks,” Mr. Geithner said.

Stay tuned. It sounds like the changes will be announced in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, rates continue to test new lows this month. Contact us in the sidebar to learn more about the refinance programs that could help you.

Comments Off on Obama administration says significant new refinance programs coming Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Thursday, October 6th, 2011