MyRefi HARP 3 Simplify Refinancing

by Ask Kate Summer 2012

Introducing #MyRefi - aka HARP 3: The White House has just announced further intentions to simplify mortgage refinancing and cut through red tape. So what would it mean to your household if you could refinance at today's historically low interest rates? Or I should be asking... what needs to happen if you can't? #MyRefi, that's what. Or you may know the program as HARP 3.


Benefits of Refinancing Your Mortgage

***zz-portrait-left.shtml*** Look at this example from the White House. If you've currently borrowed $200,000 at 6.5%, your monthly house payment is about $1350.

But what if you refinanced with #MyRefi - HARP 3 to reduce your mortgage rate to 4%? Your house payment would drop to about $950, saving $400 a month.

That's almost $5,000 a year!

But so far, roadblocks abound, preventing many homeowners from refinancing under Making Home Affordable HARP 2.0 program. In fact, you may be one of the homeowners who can't find a lender to help you. Perhaps you owe more than your home is worth. Or you don't happen to have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac backed mortgage.

While HARP 2.0 has helped a small number of homeowners, it has failed many more. Part of the reason is that the big banks still don't have to compete for homeowner business.

If you ran into the My Way or the Highway attitude while trying your best to secure affordable mortgage payments, you understand what I'm talking about.

#MyRefi - HARP 3 Cuts Through Red Tape

The White House is promising that HARP 3, already known on Twitter as #MyRefi, will stimulate competition among banks, producing better deals and increasing options for homeowners.

Let's review the reasons homeowners are daring to feel hopeful.
  • You can owe more than the value of your house, aka underwater mortgage.

  • Banks are to be incentivized to compete for your business.

  • Your mortgage will not need to be backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

  • No property appraisal required.

  • Reduced mortgage refinancing fees.

  • Historically low mortgage rates.

  • No cost to taxpayers.

Arguments Against #MyRefi - HARP 3

***zz-portrait-left-harp-3-my-refi.shtml*** I've already read the arguments against #MyRefi.

But truly, this isn't about bailing out mortgages among a select few who supposedly exercised poor judgement.

HARP 3 is about cutting red tape, preventing foreclosure, and paving the way to affordable mortgage payments.

In the end, homeowners with affordable house payments strengthen communities. My community! Your community! And America, along with our economy, benefits as a whole.

But we're not there yet. #MyRefi - HARP 3 needs to advance beyond the proposal stage. So while it's exciting to observe it on the horizon, Congress needs to be told to take action to make it a reality!

Write your elected officials in Congress why you are in favor of #MyRefi and how it can improve the bottom line of your household.

Do it today.

Here's what I'll do. I'll keep you updated on #MyRefi - HARP 3. Watch my blog for more announcements like this one at Kate's Mortgage Blog.

Good luck and best wishes,


Ask Kate about Your Mortgage

Anyone can ask Kate a question or add a comment about HARP 3. ***zzz-link-harp-news.shtml***

Have You Seen the Most Recent Ask Kate Answers

***zz-newsletter.shtml*** Back to more of Kate's answers at
Help for Underwater Mortgages from #MyRefi

Return to
Best Mortgage Rates from HARP 3 ***zz-below-the-fold-affiliate-link.shtml***

Tell Your Friends

My goal is to empower homeowners! Please spread the word about Cut Through Red Tape - White House to Simplify Refinancing on Twitter, Facebook, and with word of mouth!

Comments for MyRefi HARP 3 Simplify Refinancing.

Click here to add your own comment.

Harp Short Refinance After Given a Loan Modification
by: Gustavo from Victorville, CA, US

I have a loan modification given back in April of 2011. There was no principal reduction given and I still have a balloon payment due at the end.

Can I be a candidate for Harp 3.0? Do I have to wait certain time before I could refinance? Thanks.

Hi Gustavo, Kate here. The HARP 2.0 plan allows refinancing after a homeowner modifies a mortgage through the HAMP program with no specified waiting period. But this doesn't stop individual lenders from imposing their own requirement.

Sadly, we are no closer to knowing what HARP 3 will require and allow because the powers-that-be in Washington DC have taken no action other than to suggest plans.

This is why I say to correspond with your elected officials. Homeowners must make their wishes know.

Best wishes, Kate

Owners of their own business
by: Anonymous

We would like to refinance at the lower rate but because we own our own business mortgage companies or banks will not touch us. We have been paying our mortgage for the last 27 years and have very good credit score. Will Harp 3 if it is passed be able to help a small business owner like us?

Hi, Kate here. Great question, thanks! I'm sure scads of self-employed homeowners have been wondering the same.

The White House fact sheet indicates that HARP 3 should not require tax returns or property appraisals. Incidentally, they also report:
"Those who are not employed may still be eligible if they meet the other requirements and present limited credit risk. However, a lender will need to perform a full underwriting of these borrowers to determine whether they are a good fit for the program."
So here's my take! If unemployed borrowers are to be considered for HARP 3 refinancing, I think it's only fair to assume self-employed homeowners would be too.

Now is the time to write your elected reps in Washington DC to tell them you've paid your mortgage on time for 27 years and that you expect Congress to get to work and approve the HARP 3 proposal.

Best wishes, Kate

Closing cost and fees for refi thru HARP 3

What are the average closing costs I should be charged doing a HARP 3 refinance with a mortgage company?

I have excellent credit and have been quoted approx. 4.25% fixed on the new HARP 3 refi. I have been told that HARP 3 rates are slightly higher because of the streamlined process of avoiding appraisals, no PMI, etc.

What information can you give me? Thank you so much

Hi, Kate here. As of summer 2012, Congress has not approved President Obama's proposal for HARP 3. So associated interest rates and mortgage closing costs are an unknown.

But if you are referring to the current HARP 2.0 refinance program offered by lenders through Making Home Affordable, closing costs can actually be LOWER than traditional refinancing.

Want to negotiate lower interest rates and mortgage fees with your banker? Get the facts at HARP 2.0 Refinancing Rates first!

Best wishes and please come back to visit, Kate

Is New Harp 3 Effective?

As of July 11th 2012, is the new Harp 3 Program in effect? What are the benefits and refinance approval requirements for the self-employed and can you only refinance with your current lender?

Hi Kate here. As of July 2012, President Obama's proposed HARP 3.0 refinance to assist underwater mortgages not necessarily backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has not yet been passed by Congress.

Benefits are covered above on this page, and in addition, several other Ask Kate letters. Follow the links above for the most current info on HARP 3.0.

In the President's proposal, it sounds like the need for piles of paperwork would be greatly reduced, always music to the ears of the self-employed. But until HARP 3 turns into a reality, no one knows for sure.

The proposal is adamant about generating competition among lenders. So I'm guessing that homeowners will not be restricted to refinancing with their current lender. But again, until HARP 3.0 is passed by Congress, this is an assumption based on a proposal.

Write your representatives in DC today! Best wishes, Kate

HARP 3.0

This is assuming that HARP 3.0 is passed but the maximum loan is the conforming limit which is $417,000 in my part of the country. Does this maximum refer to original loan amount or current loan amount. If it is the current amount, does this max refer to your first only and the bank would have to subordinate to the first? Thank you.

Hi, Kate here. First of all, as of July 2012, HARP 3.0 refinance program, as proposed by the Administration, awaits the approval of Congress.

Of course this broad based refinancing program's biggest attraction is the promise to help homeowners with underwater mortgages not owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (Government-Back Entities, or GSE for short), regardless of high loan-to-values. But there are also provisions to include homeowners with GSE mortgages whether or not they have equity in their homes.

So this is the most all-inclusive plan to be proposed thus far.

Discussing loan amount sizes, the fact sheet from the Briefing Room of the White House says:
"They have a loan that is no larger than the current FHA conforming loan limits in their area."
Currently, FHA limits range between $271,050 and $729,750 for single family houses, depending on the area.

If structured similarly to HARP 2.0, the FHA loan limits would restrict only the amount of the 1st mortgage while any 2nd mortgages would require a signed and approved subordination agreement by the holder of the note at closing.

HARP 3.0 is a refinance plan that would benefit the broadest base of homeowners. But until homeowners insist that their Representatives in Congress get off their duffs and approve it now, it remains merely a proposal.

So please, write your reps in Washington DC. Tell them Ask Kate told you to! Let's stir up some action together.

Best wishes, Kate Ford

HARP 3.0 can be a win-win for many
by: Greg

I am one of those who qualifies for every aspect of HARP except for my mortgage being owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (it was bundled and sold to BoA by my loan originator, USAA).

I bought my home in 2005 a few months before the bubble burst when I transferred to the DC area while in the Navy and am now at least $35K underwater. I make my payments and am blessed with solid employment. Interest rates have dropped to a point where refinancing my current 30 year fixed to a 15 year fixed would keep my payments about the same and allow me to get out of my underwater condition in 2 years instead of 5.

Looking at it from the loan owner's perspective (in this case, BoA), they would be exposed to my negative equity for 2 years instead of 5. My refinancing would reduce their risk, too. I don't even need closing cost assistance to make this a no-brainer.

I'm fully willing to pay the refinancing transaction fees with no taxpayer assistance. I'm sure I'm not a unique case that would benefit from HARP 3.0.

Hi Greg, Kate here. I agree! How much more of a no-brainer will it take?

Please write to your representatives in the US Congress. Local reps also. Refer them to this website so they can see letter after letter from homeowners, so many with underwater mortgages.

It's time they heard, and heard, and heard some more from homeowners because strengthening home ownership equals a stronger America.

Click here to add your own comment.

You can also ask Kate about your mortgage at The Ultimate In Mortgage News.

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