Open Access HARP

by Matt
(Baltimore, Maryland USA)

Ask Kate about Open Access and HARP: Hi Kate, We have a loan that is being refinanced through the HARP program. Does it have to be refinanced through our current loan servicer?

Matt continues... Or can that loan be shopped to other servicers?

Kate Answers: Open Access and HARP

Ask Kate at
Dear Matt, Good news!

The Open Access HARP program under Freddie Mac no longer requires homeowners to return to their loan servicers for the mortgage refinance.

Fannie Mae has already been giving the choice to borrowers to use a lender other than their existing servicer for the HARP program.

But be sure to compare HARP offers. Just because you are not required to use your current servicer does not necessarily mean a better deal elsewhere. Go here for help comparing mortgage closing costs and good faith estimates.

Anyone considering Freddie Mac's Open Access HARP program or the Home Affordable Refinance Program for Fannie Mae loans should not dilly-dally. The door to the HARP program is scheduled to close June 2011.

Best Wishes,

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Choices for HARP Lender
by: Anonymous

I have just started the process of harp refinancing with my lender. HE specifically told me that I MUST go through my current lender with this program.

Hi, Kate here.

Here is a direct quote from Fannie Mae regarding Making Home Affordable Refinance Program )HARP:

"If you qualify for a refinance to make your mortgage payments more affordable, your mortgage servicer might be able to offer you the best refinance terms. Depending on your situation, however, other Fannie Mae lenders may be able to offer you the same or better terms."

Do you have private mortgage insurance? Then you will need to use your loan servicer. But it still might be a good idea to shop mortgage rates for a comparison and to educate yourself.

What are my choices for HARP Lenders
by: Eric

How can I find out my choices for participating HARP mortgage lenders? I have contacted my servicer and they are not giving me a good rate. Eric

Eric, I just answered a similar question at Making Home Affordable Help - Instructions for finding a participating lender.

Let me know if you have more questions. Kate

Open Access Harp Program
by: Kevin

Kate, I read your response on whether a HARP loan can only be refinanced through your current loan servicer. My question is, even though HARP allows us to go elsewhere to refinance, why would another lender want to take on an underwater mortgage?

Kevin, Some mortgage professionals may like the challenge of HARP and the satisfaction of helping a homeowner. No doubt though, HARP transactions require patience from both the loan originator and the borrower. Kate

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You can also ask Kate about your mortgage at Refinancing Advice The Nuts and Bolts.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for personalized professional advice. All numbers are estimated and are for illustrative purposes. Rates, loan programs, and guidelines are published for convenience only, vary with no advance warning, are not guaranteed, and should not be relied upon. You are encouraged to consult a lender for a current rate quote and seek advice from qualified professionals, for example, attorneys, accountants, financial planners, housing counselors, mortgage lenders, and/or real estate agents, regarding your individual situation. Comments and opinions found here are not necessarily those of and its owners.

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