No Sunset for HARP Refinance and HAMP Modification

by Bill in Middleburg, VA and by Noelle in Norwalk, CT

National Mortgage News: The sun isn't setting on the HAMP modification and HARP refinance programs! In fact, both programs have been extended through December 31, 2016. Why? For starters, homeowners still plagued by underwater financing require more options than offered by traditional loan programs.


No Sunset for HARP Refinance and HAMP Modification (Con't)

HARP Refinance and HAMP Modification Extended
Additionally, struggling borrowers who were clobbered by both negative equity and hardship still need the opportunity to modify their mortgage terms.

Finally recognizing the mortgage crisis is not over yet, Making Home Affordable, the official program of the US Treasury and HUD, reconsidered their intentions to allow HAMP and HARP to fade into the sunset.

Just recently, they announced that HAMP and HARP will be extended another year, until December 31, 2016, giving the opportunity for affordable mortgages to thousands of homeowners.

But don't wait until the last moment. Get your applications going for either HARP or HAMP now before the deadline creeps up on you.
Not sure which program fits your finances? How do you start? Which lenders participate? Here are eligibility and guideline descriptions...

What Is Maximum Loan Amount for the HARP Refinance

By Bill in Middleburg, VA
What Is Maximum Loan Amount for the HARP Refinance?


What is the maximum loan amount for the HARP refinance loan?

My loan amount is 2.2 million. Thanks.
***zz-portrait-left.shtml*** Ask Kate answers: What Is Maximum Loan Amount for the HARP Refinance

Hi Bill,

Yes, maybe, no. (Hey, you didn't think this would be a simple answer, right?)

Jumbo-conforming mortgages and high-balance mortgage loans may qualify for a HARP refinance, says Fannie Mae, but subject to current loan limits.

HARP Eligibility: Jumbo-Conforming and High-Balance Mortgage Loans

The catch for many homeowners is that high-cost area loan limits for high-balance mortgages which expired September 30, 2011 were replaced the following month with lower limits.

This action cut out multiple borrowers, depending on the location of their houses, the date of the promissory notes, and number of units on the properties. See current loan limits at How to Refinance a Jumbo Mortgage Loan.

HARP 3.0: Fact or Fiction

We were hoping higher loan balances, as well as non-Fannie Mae and non-Freddie Mac mortgages, would be addressed under the HARP 3.0 program. But, alas, it never progressed past a political tool.
Go here to read more about HARP 3.0: Fact or Fiction.
Best wishes,


Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payments to Pay off Home Early

By Noelle in Norwalk, CT

Hi Kate,

Our loan was just bought out by a smaller company who will not apply bi-weekly payments.

I have always done this and I am extremely unhappy that this is no longer an option.

Should I refinance with a company that offer this?
***zz-portrait-left.shtml*** Ask Kate answers: Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payments to Pay off Home Early

Hi Noelle,

Bi-weekly mortgage payments are half-payments which are made 26 times a year (every other week). This equals 13 full payments a year.

If your current lender does not accept bi-weekly payments, you can pay an independent service to handle it. However, I do not recommend this due to extra cost and reliance on a third party to send in a timely payment on your behalf.

Neither do I recommend another refinance (with its associated cost) because your new loan could end up being sold to a servicer who also does not accept bi-weekly payments.

Two Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

But don't give up on your dream to pay off your home sooner. You can achieve similar results by adding 1/12 of your payment to each of your monthly installments, earmarking it be applied to principal.
Play around with my mortgage payment calculator to calculate monthly payments and early pay-off.
There's also another way to pay off your home sooner! Go to The Mortgage Freedom Project to learn how to reduce and pay off mortgage and consumer debt while beating the bank at its own game!

Best wishes,


Have You Seen These Ask Kate Answers

Got questions? You are invited to ask Kate for answers. Or post a quick comment or related question by clicking the link near the bottom of this page. ***zzz-link-harp-news.shtml***

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