HARP 2 Homeowner Questions and Ask Kate Answers

by Pamela in Minnesota, David in California, Vince in Florida, and...

HARP 2 Homeowner Questions and Ask Kate Answers: Kate, I want to refinance my home without an appraisal, currently a conventional 30 year fixed at 6.375%. Of course I bought for $294,000 and owe $278,000 and being a part-time Realtor, I know the appraisal will come in low.


Refinancing without an appraisal continues... I am a single female, with excellent credit, retired veteran with 90% disability and want to know if there is anything out there that I can take advantage of to lower my monthly mortgage payment without an appraisal and hopefully not have to pay PMI. Pamela from Elk River, Minnesota

***zz-portrait-left-small.shtml*** Ask Kate's Answer: Hi Pamela, Have you checked into HARP II? As long as your FNMA or FHLMC owned mortgage does not currently require private mortgage insurance (PMI), it would not be added. Under the new HARP II guidelines, the 125% loan-to-value restriction is lifted for fixed rate refinances, although your lender could still choose to order an appraisal to verify your home's existence.

Go here for more details: Sweeping Changes to Home Affordable Refinance Program. ***zzz-link-harp-announcement.shtml*** Ask Kate questions and answers
HARP 2.0 Interest Rate Question: Kate, I am not clear what the interest rate would be under HARP 2.0. My credit is shot from a divorce but I am current on my Fannie Mae 30 year fixed 4.5% since October 2010. Is the rate credit score related? David G. from San Diego, California

***zz-portrait-left-small.shtml*** Ask Kate's Answer: David, In most instances, homeowners using Making Home Affordable's HARP can use any participating lender. Along the same vein, these lenders set their own HARP interest rates. Loan-Level Pricing Adjustments (LLPA) change from time-to-time and can include adjustments for credit scores falling below specified limits. In plain English, lower credit scores often translate into higher interest rates.
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If married and on current HARP mortgage, must I stay on this loan? Kate, I bought another home on my own. We were separating, and my spouse has always made the house payments. I couldn't because I only make about 14k a year and the payment is $850. Can I get my name off the mortgage, deeding the house to my husband, so I can move into the one I bought? Anonymous

***zz-portrait-left-small.shtml*** Ask Kate's Answer: Deeding the house will potentially remove you from title, but not necessarily the mortgage. If you want to be removed from the HARP mortgage, contact your lender.

Go here for additional help: Beware! It is possible to sell your house but remain obligated on the mortgage.
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HARP 2 Mortgage Closing Costs and Fee Question: I received a worksheet from my bank after asking for a HARP 2 modification. It shows me paying points, appraisal, lenders fees, credit report and title insurance. Is this a requirement? Vince from Florida

***zz-portrait-left-small.shtml*** Ask Kate's Answer: Hi Vince, HARP 2 is a Making Home Affordable refinance program, not a modification. So yes, there are associated mortgage closing costs unlike Making Home Affordable's HAMP, the loan modification option. However under HARP 2 (vs the original HARP), certain fees are eliminated and other fees are lower.

Go here for the Special Edition of Making Home Affordable Options to learn more about the differences between HARP mortgage refinances and HAMP loan modifications.

Best wishes,



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