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Regions Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have extended the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) to December 31, 2016.

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have adopted changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). Today, you may be eligible to take advantage of these changes. Regions Mortgage is pleased to offer this enhanced program which is intended to help eligible homeowners refinance regardless of a declining home value.

As of July 1st, Regions has closed over $5 billion in HARP mortgages, helping more than 30,000 homeowners remain in their homes.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) created HARP under the Making Home Affordable™ initiative in 2009, which has evolved into one of several refinancing options that makes it easier for homeowners to refinance their mortgage into a lower interest rate.

More homeowners may now be eligible to take advantage of the program and its many benefits even if they owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth. In fact, HARP has been extended until December 31, 2016 to allow you to explore your options and utilize HARP before the program ends. Save money on your mortgage! Start the process now.

The HARP program is available to eligible customers until December 31, 2016. Your existing loan does not have to be with Regions Mortgage for us to help.

You may qualify for HARP even if you:

  • Have little equity or owe more than your home is worth
  • Were turned down in the past
  • Have a low credit score or income
  • Don't have money for closing costs

To be eligible for a HARP refinance, homeowners must meet the following criteria:

  • The loan must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
  • You own a 1- to 4- unit home as your primary residence, a 1-unit second home, or a 1- to 4- unit investment property.
  • The note date of the original loan is on or before May 31, 2009.
  • The mortgage cannot have been refinanced under HARP previously unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March - May 2009.
  • The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80 percent.
  • The borrower must be current on their mortgage payments with no late payments in the last six months and no more than one late payment in the last 12 months.

Act now! Give us a call today to learn more about utilizing the HARP Program to preserve your homeownership and to take advantage of historically low interest rates. Determine if your loan is owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The objective of a refinance under HARP is to provide creditworthy homeowners who have shown a commitment to paying their mortgage the opportunity to get into a new mortgage with better terms. Customers can benefit from the refinance in the form of:

  • A more stable loan program
  • Reduction in your monthly payment due to a lower interest rate
  • Reduction in amortization term
  • Build equity faster
  • Pricing benefits may be available for loans meeting certain HARP requirements
  • Flexible appraisal requirements
  • If your existing loan does not have mortgage insurance, you will not be required to add mortgage insurance to your HARP Refinance, even if your new loan-to-value (LTV) is greater than 80 percent
  • If your existing loan has mortgage insurance, your mortgage insurance payment will remain the same and will not increase
  • Reduction or not having to bring cash to closing

Additionally, Regions Mortgage has established a HARP Operations Center with specially-trained staff to handle these loans and any questions or difficulties you might have.

Act Now! Give us a call today to learn more about utilizing the HARP Program to preserve your homeownership and to take advantage of historically low interest rates.

Only mortgages owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are eligible for refinance under HARP. You can confirm that your mortgage is owned by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac by using these loan look up tools:

Regions will work with you through every step, and will help determine if HARP meets your specific needs. Get started today by inquiring about a mortgage online or locating a Mortgage Loan Originator near you. Get started today by inquiring about a mortgage online or locating a Mortgage Loan Originator near you.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is HARP?

HARP stands for the Home Affordable Refinance Program. It was introduced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Department of the Treasury in early 2009 as part of the federal government’s Making Home Affordable™ program. HARP provides eligible homeowners, who may not otherwise qualify for refinancing because of declining home values, the ability to refinance their mortgage into a lower interest rate and/or more stable mortgage product. The program was enhanced in December 2011 to allow more eligible homeowners to refinance.

2. What enhancements were made to the HARP program that may make me eligible now?

There have been several changes to HARP, but the primary enhancements removed the limit on the amount that homeowners could be “underwater” (owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth). In addition, in order to make the eligibility requirements more transparent to borrowers, the note date of the original loan must be on, or before May 31, 2009. With these changes, many homeowners who were not eligible will now qualify.

3. Is HARP the only refinance program available to borrowers?

HARP is only one of several refinancing options available to homeowners and is unique in that it is the only refinance program that enables borrowers with little to no equity in their homes to take advantage of low interest rates and other refinancing benefits.

4. Why is FHFA extending the deadline to December 31, 2016?

FHFA determined that extending the program now will provide borrowers additional opportunities to refinance, give clear guidance to lenders, and reduce losses for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and taxpayers.

5. How can I find out whether my loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?

Only mortgages owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are eligible for refinance under HARP. You can confirm that your mortgage is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac by checking the following websites:

6. Are borrowers whose loans are not owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae eligible?

Neither FHFA nor Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac has the legal authority to extend HARP to borrowers whose mortgages are not owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

7. What if my loan is not with Regions?

Your existing loan does not have to be with Regions Mortgage for us to help. Contact Regions today to learn more about how HARP could help preserve your homeownership.

8. What does it mean to "refinance" my mortgage?

When you refinance your mortgage, you are applying for a new mortgage, which replaces your current home loan.

9. Is refinancing with HARP worth it?

Your monthly savings may vary based on the specific terms of the loan selected, the interest rate, APR and other factors.

10. What if I have been turned down for refinancing before?

The guidelines for HARP may have changed since you last applied, so you may qualify.

11. What if my income is low, or my income has decreased?

In most cases, it doesn’t matter. You still may qualify.

12. If I owe more than my house is worth and don’t have the money to pay my loan balance down, can I still refinance through HARP?

Yes. HARP allows you to refinance even if you owe more than your house is worth, eliminating your concern about paying down your loan balance in order to qualify.

13. Do I have to refinance for another 30 years?

No. Shorter loan terms (15 years and 20 years) may be available so you can start paying down your mortgage quicker and building equity faster.

14. Will a refinance under HARP reduce the amount that I owe on my loan?

No. The objective of a refinance under HARP is to help homeowners get into more stable or more affordable loans. Refinancing will not reduce the principal amount you owe to the first lien mortgage holder or any other debt you owe.

15. Will refinancing lower my payments? How might HARP benefit me?

Homeowners whose mortgage interest rates are much higher than the current market rate should see a reduction in their payments. Homeowners who are paying interest only, who have a low introductory rate that will increase in the future or who face a balloon payment may not see their current payment go down if they refinance to a fixed rate and payment.

16. What if I have an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM)?

HARP allows you to replace your adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) to a more stable fixed-rate mortgage. Refinancing may provide you with a lower monthly payment and allow you to avoid the sometimes large payment increase that comes once your ARM’s initial rate ends as the rate may increase over time. The stability of a fixed monthly payment will give you security in knowing what your principal and interest payment will be every month.

17. Is there a maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio for HARP?

There is no maximum LTV limit for borrower eligibility. If the borrower refinances under HARP and their new loan is a fixed rate mortgage, there is no maximum LTV. If the borrower refinances and their new loan is an adjustable rate mortgage, their LTV may not be above 105 percent.

18. I have a first lien and a second lien mortgage. Do I still qualify?

Yes, there is no longer a maximum LTV limit for borrower eligibility. Homeowners with more than one mortgage may be eligible for a refinance under HARP.

19. Are mortgages on condominiums and investment properties eligible for refinance under HARP?

Yes, as long as you own a 1- to 4- unit home as your primary residence, a 1- unit second home, or a 1- to 4- unit investment property.

20. Do I need a new appraisal?

In most cases, no. With HARP, an appraisal is not generally required, so you save time and money.

21. Will I have to pay closing costs?

Maybe, but closing costs vary by state and size of your loan. Closing costs might be rolled into your new loan, so you wouldn’t have to pay these costs out of pocket at closing. Check with us to learn more.

22. What fees can I expect to be charged under HARP?

HARP is like any other mortgage where you may be required to pay certain costs for the application, processing, appraisal, title search, and other necessary iterms to complete your refinance.

23. Can I get cash out to pay other debts?

No. The Home Affordable Refinance will not return cash to the borrower for the purpose of paying other debts.

Do you qualify for HARP?

To qualify for HARP, all the following must be true: