Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act of 2013
by Caroline in Phoenix, Arizona USA
Ask Kate about Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act of 2013: Introducing the latest HARP 3 refinance proposal by Senators Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Barbara Boxer of California! The current HARP 2.0 program isn't cutting it. But if more borrowers could lower their mortgage rates and find relief in affordable monthly payments, our nationwide economy would benefit. But I still have a beef with this February 2013 plan!
Before you read Caroline's letter which inspired my review of this bill, here is how to contact elected politicians in the White House, Congress, and your state government.
How to Contact Washington D.C., Write Your Government Agencies, and File a Mortgage Complaint
You have the power to make a change! Contact your elected representatives and government agencies to tell your story, file a complaint, express an opinion, and request changes that affect homeownership.
1. Submit a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, established by Congress to protect consumers, or you can call 855-411-2372.
2. Go to WhiteHouse.gov, 'Contact Us' to reach Corresponding with the White House. This is is a quick and simple way to write the President, telling about your struggles with homeownership and ask for specific change.
3. Go to Senate.gov, 'Find Your Senators', scroll down to your state and click. You will be given your US Senators with contact information. Send the same letter you sent to the White House.
4. Go to House.gov, 'Find Your Representative' and fill in your zip code. You will be given your House of Representatives with contact information. Send the same letter you sent to the White House and Senate.
5. Go to State.gov Of course, first fill in your state's name. Then on your state website, do a search (for example, 'mortgage help') to find contact information. Send the same letter you sent to the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives.
6. Call your Better Business Bureau to report specific companies. For example, report Rust Consulting to the BBB if you did not receive your settlement check.
Caroline asks Kate about HARP 3.0 Cut-Off Date for Past Refinance
Hi Kate, I love your site and have it saved in my favorites.
We do not qualify for HARP programs in place thus far. We refinanced after the cutoff date of May 31, 2009 with Wells Fargo that they initiated...one of the low doc, no cost deals.
It did not even lower our interest rate all that much!
We are presently at 4.8%. Tried looking at conventional refinance and it was a no-go due to the 80/20 ratio thing, and that most likely our appraisal would not come in high enough.
Would there be a date limit on the HARP 3.0 that is still being decided on?
We satisfy all the requirements for HARP 2.0 - except that we did that refi in 2010. Just hoping we may qualify for 3.0 if it ever passes.
We probably could short sale - my husband has a new job and makes considerably less when we first moved to this house in 2007.
One last thing...we put down 150K to get into this house. Sales price $530K with 150K down. Our mortgage is now $355K. Appraisal would be really pushing it - may appraise at like $325-335. Your thoughts are really appreciated. What would you do? Sorry for the really long message. Thanks!
May 2013 Breaking News! The Obama Administration is rumored to be considering an extended HARP eligibility date of mid 2010 which will allow more homeowners to participate in the refinancing program. Further details in the comment section below.
Kate Answers: February 2013 HARP 3 Proposal
Don't apologize! I appreciate the details. Let's take a look at the latest HARP 3 proposal.
It's the Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act of February 2013 by US Senators Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Barbara Boxer of California.
This newest proposal to improve the HARP 2.0 plan has 6 main points.
Benefits to HARP 3 Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act of 2013 1.
Opens up refinancing opportunities to all Fannie and Freddie borrowers, underwater or not.2.
Lowers up-front refinance fees.3.
Eliminates the cost of appraisals.4.
Removes additional barriers to competition.5.
Eliminates employment and income verification requirements.6.
Extends the HARP program through 2014 to allow more time for refinancing.
It is estimated that 12 million homeowners could participate in the Making Home Affordable Refinance Program based on this proposal.
But here's my beef! Millions of homeowners with mortgages not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac won't be able to participate. Additionally, the bill does not address the limiting cut-off date of May 31, 2009. More on its limitations in a moment. Here are the details.
Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act of 2013 - HARP 3 Refinance 1. Consistent refinancing opportunities:
To participate in HARP 2.0, a homeowner must have less than 20.01% equity. This puts up a barrier for homeowners who have been paying down their loan balances. This proposal could remove this restriction.2. Lower refinance fees:
Currently, homeowners with more than 20% equity (less risk) are paying higher loan fees than participants in HARP 2.0 (greater risk). This bill will restrict Fannie and Freddie from charging up-front fees to refinance a mortgage they already guarantee.3. Appraisal fees eliminated:
Too many HARP borrowers are still paying for appraisals due to a lack of comparable sales in their areas. This bill requires viable streamlined alternatives to manual appraisals.4. Additional barriers to competition removed:
Less restrictions on new servicers vs current lenders will open the field for competition, lowering borrowers' cost of refinancing. This is aimed at reducing the fear among lenders that they'll be forced to buy back loans after selling them to Fannie or Freddie
.5. Employment and income verification not necessary:
This will improve on the HARP 2 September 2012 enhancement which you can read about at HARP 2 No Income Verifier Refinance
. As long as a homeowner is making their monthly house payments, income and employment data will not be a qualifying factor.6. Extension through 2014:
The Making Home Affordable Refinance Program is set to expire December 31, 2013. If extended for another year, it will allow more time for refinancing.
Drawbacks to Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act of 2013 1.
Mortgages not securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac would not be eligible.
See Does Fannie or Freddie Own My Mortgage
for more information.2.
The securitization cut-off date of May 31, 2009 does not change.
See HARP 2 Eligibility
for more information.3.
The restriction of one HARP loan refinance per property is not addressed.
See January 2013 HARP 3 Petition
for more information.4.
Does not face up to the struggles of refinancing with lender paid mortgage insurance (LPMI).
See HARP Refinancing with LPMI
for more information.
How You Can Make HARP 3 Refinance a Reality
This proposal remains incomplete. It must eliminate the restriction of being backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, address the cut-off date barrier, the inability to re-HARP, and lenders' attitudes toward lender paid mortgage insurance (LPMI).
Until it does, it remains a rehash of the existing HARP 2.0. program.
Do you agree? Congress will never know if you don't snail-mail, email, text, Twitter, and Facebook the members. Remember, they are elected. By you. It's time they hear how you feel!
When you write, feel free to link to this page in your letter: http://www.get-your-best-mortgage-rate.com/responsible-homeowner-refinancing-act-of-2013.html
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