Interest rates are low and it is a great time to refinance your home, but due to many homes being underwater it has been very difficult to refinance. I have been trying to refinance my home for the last two years. I have basically been told by my lender, Bank of America, on many occasions that due to the fact my payments are on time they won’t help me. I began to wonder if I was ever going to refinance. I started debating on stopping making my payments just so I could get help. There were many programs out there to help homeowners that were facing hardship stay in there homes, but there were no programs for people that made their payments on time. Finally on March 17, 2012, a program called HARP 2.0 was setup to allow underwater homeowners to refinance their homes. While this program was approved in March, the lenders have finally received many of the regulations and guidelines within the last few weeks. As we all know government works slow.
I purchased my home in November 2006, which was near the height of the market. Lucky for me I was able to get a great deal from the developer and paid far less then many of my neighbors. For example, I purchased my home for $329,000. The home across the street from me is the same model with a few extra upgrades and it sold for $458,000 a month earlier then mine. When I purchased this home I took out an interest only adjustable rate mortgage because I was single and this made it affordable. Now that I am married and have dual incomes I have wanted to refinance into a 30 year fixed mortgage for the past few years. Last week I received a call from another lender I have been working with saying that I was eligible to refinance my home under HARP 2.0. This call was a major sigh of relief for me. Last week we signed the application to get the process started.
If you are wondering whether you qualify for the HARP 2.0 program, here are the eligibility requirements:
- Your mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac before June 1, 2009.
- You must be current on the mortgage and have no late payments in the last six months. A late payment is defined as one that’s more than 30 days overdue.
- You must not have more than one late payment in the past 12 months.
- This must be your first refinance through HARP. If you have refinanced under an earlier version of HARP, then you do not qualify.
I have no problem helping people that are having hardships, but I don’t understand why it took so long for the government to help people that are paying there mortgages on time. I guess it is better late then never. I will keep you updated through the process.
Have you had issues refinancing? Are you taking advantage of the HARP 2.0 program? Would love to hear your thought on it.