March 14, 2011 (Shirley Allen)
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that it will extend the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) until June 30, 2012. Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco also announced in the press release that HARP loans would be exempt from the recently announced price adjustments and that Fannie Mae has changed the eligibility date for the program to May 2009.

HARP was set to expire on June 30, however, an extension to HARP was considered likely after the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) lobbied FHFA back in February for an extension of the program.

HARP was designed to help mortgage borrowers who are current on their mortgages but whose home value was less than what their current mortgage amount is, also known as being “underwater.”

In order to qualify for HARP:

1) You must be current in your mortgage payments;

2) Must have the ability to pay the new mortgage payment amount;

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

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

5) The refinance must improve either the affordability or sustainability of you mortgage situation (by sustainability they mean getting you out of fluctuating interest rates).

Through 2010, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchased or guaranteed more than 6.8 million refinanced mortgages. Of this total, 621,803 were HARP refinances with LTVs between 80 percent and 125 percent. This is up from 190,180 in 2009, when HARP began.

More information is available at

Tags: FHFA, HARP, MBA, mortgage borrowers, loan modification, Fannie mae, Freddie Mac