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HARP extended to 2012

By: 17 March 2011 No Comment

Last month, the national Mortgage Bankers Association was out lobbying for the extension of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).

The group got its wish. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced this week that HARP will be extended for one year to June 30, 2012. What is HARP? Simply put, it’s a program set up to allow people who are in danger of falling behind on their mortgages (and fretting over the potential of a foreclosure) to refinance. You can read up on HARP and its companion program — the Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) — here. However, here’s a brief summary of the requirements of people wanting to take advantage of HARP:

* You must be current in your mortgage payments;

* Must have the ability to pay the new mortgage payment amount;

* Your mortgage must owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac;

* The principle amount of your first mortgage cannot be more than 125% of your home’s current value; and

* The refinance must improve either the affordability or sustainability of your mortgage situation (i.e., get a fixed interest rate that is affordable rather than one of those funky, adjustable rate things).

Meanwhile, Congress is debating whether to get rid of four other programs designed to help out troubled homeowners. HAMP is among those and you can read all about that issue here. President Barack Obama has threatened to veto any attempts to get rid of those programs and there’s some question as to whether the proposals will clear the Senate, anyway.

For now, at least, it appears that HARP is safe.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email =

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