Making Home Affordable Program, HARP, HAMP
Making Home Affordable Refinancing Program (HARP)
The Home Affordable Refinancing Program (HARP) is designed to help homeowners refinance their homes if they are underwater and current on their mortgage payments. Refinancing under this program can help reduce payments by as much as $3,000.00 per year. 1 or 2 payments may be deferred as well. Homes in most areas must be worth $625,000.00 or less to be eligible. Banks were initially slow to jump on board but have recently begun to realize that the program can generate new fees from these homes while helping homeowners at the same time. The program has helped 2.4 Million people as of now. It is available only once. Applicants for help under this program must meet the following criteria:
- Borrowers must owe more than 80 percent of their home’s value
- There must have been no missed payments for the last 6 months
- No more than 1 late payment in the last year
- Applicant must have a job or other income but no full review is required
HARP has been extended through 2015. Because most of the people who were eligible for the making home affordable program have already taken advantage of it the rate of applications is expected to taper off.
Not to be confused with HAMP
The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is a different program. HAMP is a program designed for those who have missed payments. Efforts are made under this program to lower payments on government backed mortgages to make them more affordable and sustainable. As of June 12, 2012 the programs requirements were relaxed to include:
- Borrowers whose debt to income ratio was 31 percent or worse.
- Borrowers who have already defaulted once on a trial period
- Non owner occupied homes.
HAMP’S beneficiaries are re-defaulting at an alarming rate of 46%. Those who cannot sustain their new obligations and fall out of the program are left with the original mortgage terms. They must make up the difference. In effect all savings are forfeited.
And still more…
The Making Home Affordable Program offers opportunities to modify or refinance your mortgage to make your monthly payments more affordable. It also includes the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program for homeowners who are interested in a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. Go to www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov or call the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline, 1-888-995-HOPE (4673).
Making Home Affordable Program, HARP, HAMP provide options for homeowners. Don’t panic when trouble comes.