HARP 2.0 Common Questions & Answers

Define HARP?

HARP is the acronym for Home Affordable Refinance Program. The program aids California home owners whose home property values have dipped over the last two years to refinance their homes by way of fixed loans with payment of lower monthly installments. It is also known as the Making Home Affordable Program, the DU Refi Plus Program, and/or the Obama Refi Program.

How do I check whether Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae are holding my mortgage?

They both have "lookup" forms on their websites. Check Fannie Mae's first because her market share is more. If you don’t get a match, then Freddie Mac’s site will definitely answer your question. If Freddie or Fannie hold your mortgage, it indicates that it is just a pre-qualifier and does not make you automatically eligible for HARP aid.

Or, you can have us check for you:

What if I can’t find my records using the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac lookup tools?

This may show that you are ineligible for HARP assistance. However, keep in mind that these lookup tools are not always accurate as the address would have to be exactly the same as was recorded with Fannie or Freddie. Even if you find that you are ineligible, the possibility of getting regular refinance at lower rates still exists and you need to check your options. Just give us a call at 415-971-8282 and we can discuss options.

If I'm behind on my mortgage can I still be Eligible for HARP?

No. Your mortgage must be absolutely current to make you eligible for refinancing your California mortgage through HARP.

Does HARP protect me from foreclosure?

No. HARP cannot stop or delay foreclosures. It has been created to give California homeowners who are current with their mortgage payments the ability to refinance into lower mortgages after losing out on home equity.

Do I have to use my current lender with HARP 2.0?

If you are applying for a DU Refi Plus loan (HARP 2.0), you may choose any lender you wish or select the existing servicer to originate it. (This flexibility is due to the fact that DU automatically determines if the investor on the existing loan is Fannie Mae, even if you don't use your current lender.) However, manually underwritten Refi Plus loans have more limits and can only be originated by the server of the existing loan.

What are the basic requirements for HARP-eligibility?

First, your home loan must be paid on-time for the prior 6 months, and at least 11 of the most recent 12 months. Secondly, Freddie or Fannie should have bought your mortgage prior to June 1st, 2009. Thirdly, you have never used a HARP mortgage refinance before. You are allowed only one HARP refinance per mortgage.

When does the HARP 2.0 Program end? 

You must close your HARP 2.0 refinance by September 30th, 2025.

Is HARP of any use to me if I am really underwater in terms of my mortgage?

Yes, it is. There is no loan-to-value restriction as long as the new mortgage is a loan with a fixed rate with a thirty-year term or less. An adjustable-rate mortgage fixes the loan-to-value at 105%.

What are the HARP program’s mortgage rates?

Mortgage rates for the HARP program are the same as for a “traditional” refinance. There is no “premium” for using the HARP program.

I rent out my home, is it eligible for the HARP 2.0 Refinance? 

Yes. You can refinance your investment property, even if it once was a primary residence.

How about my vacation home?

Yes. You can refinance your vacation home as well.

I have recently divorced, can I remove an ex-spouse from my mortgage with the HARP 2.0 refinance? 

Yes. Similar to a conventional refinance, the ex-spouse will need to be removed from the deed and have NO interest in the property.

Are condominiums eligible for HARP refinancing?

Yes, condominiums can be financed on the HARP refinance program. Warrantability standards still apply.

Can I consolidate mortgages with a HARP refinance?

You cannot consolidate multiple mortgages with the HARP refinance program. It’s for first liens only. All subordinate/junior liens must be resubordinated to the new first mortgage.

My home is currently listed for sale. Can I still apply for HARP?

Yes. Although Fannie Mae policy prohibits the refinancing of homes that are currently listed on the market, this policy can be waived for Refi Plus transactions (manual or DU).

I am unemployed and without income. Am I HARP-eligible?

No. Income verification is required for the HARP refinance program.

Is there a minimum credit score to use the HARP program?

No, there is no minimum credit score requirement with the HARP refi program. However, you must qualify for the mortgage based on traditional underwriting standards.

I put down 20% when I purchased my home, and now my home is under-water.

If I refinance with HARP 2.0, will I have to pay mortgage insurance now? No. If you current loan does not require mortgage insurance, then HARP will not require mortgage insurance.

Can I finance or “roll” my closing costs into the loan with a HARP 2.0 refinance?

Yes. Mortgage balances can increase to cover standard closing costs in addition to other costs due at closing such as escrows and daily interest.

How do I apply for the HARP program?

Step 1: Find out if your mortgage is owned by Fannie or Freddie & Eligible For The HARP Program

Step 2: Print the HARP 2.0 Checklist

Step 3: Submit your HARP Online Application

Step 4: Meet with Lakshmi Yokoyama to go over the final numbers, closing date, etc.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to call my office at 415-971-8282 or email me at Lakshmi@sierrapacificmortgage.biz . I am here for you!

Photo of Lakshmi Yokoyama
Lakshmi Yokoyama
HARP Program Specialist

Email: Lakshmi@sierrapacificmortgage.biz

Phone: 415-971-8282

Contact Lakshmi Yokoyama, your California HARP Refinancing Expert, to setup a free consultation to determine if you are eligible for the HARP program. I will be honored to work with you!

Sierra Pacific Mortgage Corp
Lakshmi Yokoyama
Phone: 415-971-8282

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Lakshmi G Yokoyama
Senior Mortgage Consultant | NMLS270710 / CalBRE01173506

Phone: 415-971-8282
Fax: 888-734-3381

363 El Camino Real. 288
South San Francisco, California 94080

Sierra Pacific Mortgage Corp

A Hartleb/Prasad Corporation
NMLS #257572. CalBRE #00921097

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