HARP 2 Mortgage Plan Questions

by Randee in NV, Don in AZ, Daniel in GA, Karen in IL, and...

Ask Kate Your HARP 2 Mortgage Plan Questions: Hi Kate, Can the HARP 2 mortgage plan be used on rental properties that are underwater? Is there PMI when we had none to begin with? Also, do you need to use the original mortgage holder or simply shop for best rates and fees? Thanks, Randee, Las Vegas, Nevada


***zz-portrait-left-small.shtml*** Ask Kate discusses Harp 2 mortgage guidelines for rental properties... Hi Randee, Under the new Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0) guidelines, underwater investment properties are included.

Furthermore, as long as there is no existing PMI, private mortgage insurance is not tacked onto the monthly mortgage payments just because the equity in the home is under 80 percent. Quite a deal, right?

Lastly, your own mortgage lender or servicer might be able to give you a better deal on structuring your HARP refinance and might offer superior mortgage rates and fees. However, you'll never know if you don't shop lenders. Ask your friends, relatives, co-workers, and neighbors for referrals. If you know real estate agents, ask them for a HARP 2 lender referral.

Go here for more details: How to Find Lenders and Reduce Mortgage Refinancing Costs.

How Long Does HARP 2 Mortgage Approval Take? Kate, I have been working with a mortgage lender in Yuma to get a HARP loan. I was told I could get started in November 2011, then was told it would be January 2012 before the guidelines would be set. Here it is the middle of February, and still being told I have to wait. Is this right? Can a person get a HARP loan now? Don M, Yuma, Arizona

***zz-portrait-left-empower-small.shtml*** Ask Kate answers how long does HARP 2 mortgage approval take? Hi Don, The original HARP 2 program guidelines excluded many homeowners who had lost equity from taking advantage of low mortgage rates and affordable mortgage payments. In October 2011, an announcement was made regarding a new and improved 2012 HARP 2 program with simplified and relaxed guidelines, giving hope to many homeowners.

But I understand it's tedious waiting for these incremental improvements to be rolled out. As of now, they are being released s-l-o-w-l-y.

I would ask your lender which improvement do they need on your behalf to be rolled out. That way you'll know if the problem is that they are swamped or if you truly need an upcoming guideline to be approved.

Between now and then, follow my Best Mortgage Rate Blog for the latest HARP 2.0 mortgage news as well as major releases. You will also find weekly mortgage interest rate and trend updates, Making Home Affordable modification, traditional mortgage refinance, and home buying questions from Readers with Ask Kate answers announced at my Blog.

For past announcements, go to November HARP II Eligibility Requirements Announcement, updated in December 2011. ***zzz-link-harp-mini.shtml***

HARP 2, Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance, and Income Tax Implications... Kate, I have LPMI (Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance). I want to refinance using the new 2012 HARP program. Should I be aware of any tax implications? Anonymous, Georgia

***zz-portrait-left-small.shtml*** Ask Kate answers HARP 2, lender paid mortgage insurance, and income tax implications question: Good question worthy of asking but not for me to answer! Tax questions are best answered by certified public accountants. Just don't expect your CPA to offer reliable HARP 2.0 underwriting help! You will see what I mean in the introduction to the Best Mortgage Advice Forum.

More on Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance and HARP Refinancing Guidelines (LPMI) here.

Does HARP 2 Apply to Manufactured Homes? Hi Kate, A friend of mine was curious if HARP covered manufactured homes under current guidelines? Daniel, NW Georgia

***zz-portrait-left-empower-small.shtml*** Ask Kate answers does HARP 2 apply to manufactured homes? Hi Daniel, I'm stepping out on this because FNMA guidelines aren't crystal clear on manufactured housing. But it appears that HARP 2 refinance guidelines include manufactured homes, although an appraisal could be required. Many home loan lenders do not lend on manufactured housing so the pool of available mortgage companies to shop may be reduced.

HARP Approval without Signature? Kate, I applied for a HARP loan with my current lender over 2 months ago. I received the application and found out some of the numbers were wrong. Called to get it corrected and was told that I was approved. Is it legitimate that they approved it without the corrections, an appraisal, and my signature? Karen, Illinois

***zz-portrait-left-small.shtml*** Ask Kate answers HARP approval without signature: Hi Karen, It looks like this is a case of HARP pre-approval and I'd expect more hoops to jump through. Although it feels a little freaky to receive an "approval" on a mortgage transaction you never placed your signature on, be happy if you don't need an appraisal! Your signature will be required to fund (finalize) the HARP 2 refinance. (See the above question from Don in Yuma, Arizona who is experiencing the opposite problem.)

I'm looking for a list of Freddie Mac lenders that do HARP refinance loans. Hi Kate, I was referred to your website, but can't seem to find a list. Can you help? Clay

***zz-portrait-left-empower-small.shtml*** Ask Kate answers I'm looking for a list of Freddie Mac lenders that do HARP refinance loans: Hi Clay, You can find a list of Freddie Mac lenders who participate in Making Home Affordable Refinance Program, aka HARP refinance, at (this list has since been deleted from the Freddie Mac site). Please note Freddie Mac does not claim this to be a comprehensive list. Better yet, I suggest getting referrals from your friends, co-workers, family, neighbors, and real estate agents. You can read more about this at How to Reduce Mortgage Refinancing Costs.

Best wishes,


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