HARP changes put refinancing in reach of more homeowners – Appeal-Democrat: Real Estate

HARP changes put refinancing in reach of more homeowners

When the federal Home Affordable Refinance Program HARP launched in 2009, millions took advantage, but many other homeowners found they couldn’t qualify to refinance their underwater mortgages. Today, significant enhancements have made the program more accessible for homeowners and a great opportunity to lower payments or build equity faster.If you owe as much or more on your home than its current value, you’re considered “underwater” or “upside-down” on your mortgage. For some homeowners, the situation has led to foreclosure. Others, however, have stayed current on their mortgage payments, and those are the people HARP is intended to help.You may be eligible for HARP if: You are current on your mortgage. Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac backs or owns your mortgage, and they acquired your mortgage on or before May 31, 2009. Use Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s online tools to find out. The mortgage is for your primary home, a single-family second home or a one- to four-unit investment property.

via HARP changes put refinancing in reach of more homeowners – Appeal-Democrat: Real Estate.

Effective Today Fannie & Freddie Get a Green Light to Save You Another Step

Fannie Mae Reaches Short Sale and Deed-in-Lieu Delegation Agreements with Mortgage Insurers

WASHINGTON, DC – Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTC) announced today that it has reached delegation agreements with all of its mortgage insurer counter parties so that servicers can complete short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure without seeking approval from the insurer.  These agreements will further streamline the foreclosure prevention process and allow short sales and deeds-in-lieu to be completed more efficiently.

“Short sales and deeds-in-lieu are important tools to prevent foreclosures and help struggling borrowers,” said Leslie Peeler, senior vice president, National Servicing Organization, Fannie Mae. “These delegation agreements create an even more streamlined process that will ultimately help more families avoid the costly effects of foreclosure and benefit taxpayers.  We are pleased that the mortgage insurance companies have stepped up to the plate with us to help more homeowners.”

Previously, Fannie Mae had individual delegation agreements with the majority of its top mortgage insurer counterparties.  Now, a standard delegation agreement has been reached with all nine mortgage insurers, making the approval process more consistent and efficient for servicers and borrowers.

The new delegation agreements allow servicers to approve any short sale or deed-in-lieu that meets Fannie Mae’s requirements without individual mortgage insurance approval.

These agreements are an important achievement in Fannie Mae’s efforts to stabilize neighborhoods and have been established with CMG Mortgage Insurance Company, Essent Guaranty, Inc., Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corporation, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation, PMI Mortgage Insurance Co., Radian Guaranty Inc., Republic Mortgage Insurance Company, Triad Guaranty Insurance Corporation, and United Guaranty Mortgage Insurance Company.  All delegation agreements will be effective as of November 1, 2012.

Borrowers can visit http://www.knowyouroptions.com/ for foreclosure prevention information and resources, including how to contact Fannie Mae’s twelve Mortgage Help Centers across the country.  Through the first six months of 2012, Fannie Mae completed 142,987 loan workout solutions, including 46,226 short sales and 7,509 deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure.  Earlier this year, Fannie Mae announced new short sale guidelines and new short sale timelines.

Fannie Mae exists to expand affordable housing and bring global capital to local communities in order to serve the U.S. housing market. Fannie Mae has a federal charter and operates in America’s secondary mortgage market to enhance the liquidity of the mortgage market by providing funds to mortgage bankers and other lenders so that they may lend to home buyers. Our job is to help those who house America.

via News Release – Fannie Mae Reaches Short Sale and Deed-in-Lieu Delegation Agreements with Mortgage Insurers | Fannie Mae.

Principal “Curtailment” for Underwater Home Owners

If you fit this description:

  • Have low to moderate income
  • Owe more than your house is worth
  • Live in your home
  • Are delinquent, or have a hardship that puts you at risk of default
  • Have a mortgage balance of less than $729,750

Read this article….

Principal relief for stressed homeowners

A limited number of underwater homeowners in California will soon be able to get principal reductions of up to $100,000 apiece on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans through the federally funded Keep Your Home California program.

The federal agency that oversees Fannie and Freddie has steadfastly refused to allow permanent principal reduction on loans they own or guarantee on the grounds it would cost taxpayers money. But in mid-September, Fannie and Freddie told servicers they could immediately begin accepting money for principal reductions from programs financed by the U.S. Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund, including Keep Your Home California.

Fannie’s and Freddie’s willingness to accept money from Hardest Hit Funds does not signal a change of heart on the part of their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Lest anyone get the wrong idea, Freddie says it will allow funds to be used for “principal curtailment.”

Read the rest here…

via Principal relief for stressed homeowners – SFGate.

HARP 2.0: What it is; What it isn’t

HARP 2.0: What it is; What it isn’t

October 26th, 2011 in CDPE by Alex Charfen

When the Obama Administration announced a series of changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) early this week, our phones started ringing with inquiries from the media for our input concerning the impact. And we had even more questions about HARP during our CDPE Advanced Broadcast yesterday afternoon.

The new HARP is by no means a game changer.

Here’s essentially what we’ve had to say about the revamped government mortgage refinancing program:

HARP 2.0, as the media has started to refer to it, has some merit, but it’s scope is very limited and it will have little or no impact on foreclosures or the estimated 6.4 million homeowners nationwide who are behind on their mortgage payments. The new HARP just expands the net of those who were eligible for help under the original version.

HARP was created in April of 2009 to help borrowers whose loans were backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, but did not have enough equity or negative equity to refinance. Under the original version of HARP, borrowers who were current on their payments and owed up to 125 percent of the current value of their homes could refinance their mortgage.

The original HARP fell short of expectations. Over the past two and a half years, only 838,000 homeowners have benefited from the program. The new HARP has broadened the base with looser eligibility requirements.

Borrowers with FHA, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgages that were sold to Fannie or Freddie before May 31, 2009,  will be able to refinance, no matter how far underwater they are. Banks will only have to verify that borrowers have made their last six payments, that they’ve haven’t missed more than one payment over the past year, and that they have a job or another source of regular income.

Other key changes:

  • Appraisals are no longer required if there is a reliable automated valuation model (AVM)–a significant hurdle in the previous plan.
  • Risk-based fees have been eliminated for borrowers who refinance to 15-year mortgages.
  • Existing mortgage insurance coverage can be transferred much easier than under the original HARP.

While the new HARP won’t help homeowners who are behind on their payments and at risk for foreclosure, it is a welcome relief for homeowners who have been caught in the Catch-22 of not being able to refinance because they owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth, and at the same time, don’t qualify for a short sale or a loan mod because they are current on their payments and still have income and assets sufficient to cover their costs.

More money into the pockets of this segment will mean more dollars back into the economy, potentially heading off strategic defaults and keeping and stemming the tide of homes entering the foreclosure pipeline.

via HARP 2.0: What it is; What it isn’t | CDPE Blog.

HAMP Update: Investment Property Eligible & Other Good News

Hamp Update: Investment Property Eligible & Other Good News

HAMP (Home Affordable Mortgage Program) has made some very exciting changes lately.

  • Incentives to Lenders to do write-downs (reduce the principal on a loan) have been increased up to 3 times the previous amount.  That mean lenders can receive anywhere from 18 to 63 cents on the dollar for each dollar reduced on the mortgage.
  • The program is now open to Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac.
  • It’s been expanded to include investment property as long as it is tenant occupied.

These changes are all focused on making mortgages more affordable and spreading out the loss and getting inflated debt off the backs of Homeowners.

HAFA Update: Lots of Good News for Stressed Home Owners

Due to expire at the end of 2012, HAFA is now extended to the end of 2013!

This is a huge positive development for a program focused on helping distressed homeowners out of their mortgages while keeping their credit ratings intact.

But, that’s not all; there’s lots more good news…

  • Removal of occupancy requirements. (Previously HAFA required homeowners to have lived in the property within the last 12 months.)
  • $3,000 cash incentive to the home owner still applies. Now covers either owner OR tenant occupied properties at the time of sale.
  • Secondary lien holder may receive up to a maximum of $8,500, up from $6,000 previously. This makes it easier to negotiate with the second who normally gets very little compared to the first.
  • Payments can continue to be made to the loan servicer, even if they are over 32% of income, to stay current until sale
  • Major Credit Reporting bureaus are changing the way they report a Short Sale to either  “13” (Paid in full or closed account, zero balance) or “65” (Account paid in full, a forclosure was started as applicable)
A homeowner can be current on their mortgage, qualify for HAFA, continue to make their payments, and execute a short sale with minimum impact on their credit!

Pressure on Fannie and Freddie to do Mortgage Write-Downs

Pressure on Fannie and Freddie to Do Write-Downs on Mortgages

WASHINGTON, April 6 (Reuters) – The Obama administration wants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which finance the bulk of U.S. mortgages, to start reducing loan balances for troubled borrowers, but with safeguards to prevent them from purposely defaulting to obtain relief.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan laid out the case for a program with such checks and balances to convince the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates the companies, to provide more mortgage aid.

“This isn’t about force; this is about making the right decision for homeowners and for the taxpayers,” Donovan said in an interview taped for C-SPAN’s public affairs television that was set to air on Sunday.

Read more: US Housing Secretary Pushes Mortgage Write-Downs For Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac.