First off, homeowners with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (GSE) backed mortgages who are unable to refinance to take advantage of the near-record low mortgage rates will be able to go through HARP 2.0.
HARP 2.0 was introduced back in October 2012 to address the needs of homeowners who were too deeply underwater to meet the max loan-to-value (LTV) ratio cap of 125 percent.
Borrowers with underwater mortgages backed by Fannie and Freddie will continue to go through this program assuming they meet the guidelines until the program expires in December 2018.
What about all the underwater borrowers with non-GSE mortgages, those that are not backed by Fannie and Freddie? Unfortunately it’s not a live program.
HARP program includes
No underwater limits
Borrowers will now be able to refinance regardless of how far their homes have fallen in value. Previous loan-to-value limits were set at 125 percent.
No appraisals or underwriting
Most homeowners will not have to get an appraisal or have their loan underwritten, making their refinance process smoother and faster.
Certain risk-based fees for borrowers who refinance into shorter-term loans have been reduced.
Lenders now need less paperwork for income verification, and have the option of qualifying a borrower by documenting that the borrower has at least 12 months of mortgage payments in reserve.
The end date to get a HARP refinance is December 31, 2018.