The HARP 2 Refinance Program is set to help thousands of homeowners to refinance to today’s low rates, and save hundreds every month, build equity more quickly, and for many, actually save their homes.
The Darker red shows more negative equity. And as you can see, Georgia is a darker red than any of us homeowners would like, although not a bad as our southern neighbor, Florida.
In fact, if you combine negative equity and ‘near negative’ equity, defined as owning 95% or more of the home’s value, then here are the numbers:
- Georgia: 32.3% of homeowners are underwater, or nearly so.
- Florida: 48.6% of homeowners fall into that category. Wow, nearly half!
- South Carolina: 17.3% of homeowners are underwater.
You can find the data that I am quoting here.
The numbers are important because the new HARP 2.0 refinance program is just now opening up. And that is designed for those homeowners – even the ones who have very little equity, since this refinance program does not require Mortgage Insurance, which is normally required with less than 20% equity.
Even though the rates are slightly higher for the HARP refinance program than they are for a conventional refinance, when you consider the savings of not needing to add mortgage insurance, the HARP refinance program is a better option for those who qualify.
The main qualification is that your mortgage loan needs to be owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and needs to have been there since before June, 2009. You can look up Fannie Mae Here, and the Freddie Mac Lookup is Here.
And if you are unsure and would like us to help you determine ownership of your home loan, you can call us and we will be happy to help you determine ownership, at 1-800-MY-LOANS.
Oh, and don’t forget the two biggest changes with the HARP 2.0 refinance guidelines: Now we can re-issue Mortgage insurance in most cases if you have it, and there is no Loan to Value cap. It’s unlimited.
And for those who don’t have a Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae loan and therefore don’t qualify for this HARP 2.0 refinance program, then check if your loan is either FHA or VA. If so, then check out a Streamline FHA refinance.