HARP Extended to 2017 as Bridge to New Refi Program

The Federal Housing Finance Agency is extending the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) until Sept. 30, 2017. The FHFA estimates that more than 300,000 home owners could still benefit by refinancing through HARP.

The Home Affordable Modification Program and HARP aim to help borrowers lower their monthly payments. The program was launched in 2009  and originally set to expire on Dec. 31, 2013, but the government continues to extend it.

FHFA says the reason it opted to extend it again was to smooth a transition into a new refinance product that will be offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at the end of 2017. That product will reportedly be aimed at borrowers with high loan-to-value ratios.

“The new refinance offering will provide much-needed liquidity for borrowers who are current on their mortgage but are unable to refinance through traditional programs based on their LTV ratio exceeds the [GSEs’] maximum limit,” according to a recent news release.

The FHFA says that with the new LTV streamlined refinance product eligible borrowers will not be subject to a minimum credit score, there will be no maximum debt-to-income ratio or maximum LTV, and an appraisal often won’t be required. Borrowers would also be able to use it more than once to refinance their mortgage. (View more of the eligibility requirements at FHFA.)

The new LTV refinance offering won’t be available to borrowers until October 2017, FHFA says.

Source: Federal Housing Finance Agency and “HARP Extended into 2017; FHFA Plans New Refinance Program,” HousingWire (Aug. 25, 2016)

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