New HARP Guidelines: What You Need to Know - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Editors note: We have some great news! Quicken Loans allows refinances of up to 200% of your home’s value on mortgages owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through the HARP Program. 

In order to participate in HARP, either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac must own your loan. 

See if you qualify for HARP or call today (800) 251-9080 to find out how much you could save.

And finally, the Federal Government has extended HARP until the end of 2015.

The Fed announced the details of its newly updated changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program which we mortgage folk have dubbed HARP 2.0.  The goal for the modifications to the program is to target homeowners who have been hit hard by the downtrodden housing market as of late.

The kicker is who will qualify for modifications and who will not qualify?

Are you ready to learn about the nit picky details regarding this new reform?

Let’s do this thing.

So, in order to be eligible, you need to have a loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and have less than 20 percent equity in your home.  The loan must also have been originated before May 31, 2009.

The program technically begins on December 1, 2011, but some lenders might not be ready to take applications, so be careful.  If you are concerned as to when your lender will start taking applications, just give them a call.  They should be happy to help you out.

Be aware that not every lender will be participating in HARP 2.0.  Participation is voluntary, so your lender may or may not be a part of it.  However, HARP 2.0 is designed to make lenders feel more comfortable writing loans on underwater properties.

Now, let’s get into the numbers.

If you were late on one payment in the past seven to 12 months, don’t fret.  You can still be eligible, but agencies don’t want to see any delinquencies in the past six months.

If you have a loan that amortizes in 20 years or less, all of the fees that relate to the riskiness of the loan are gone.  Adios.  However, if you have a loan that amortizes in more than 20 years, the fee is capped to 0.75 percent of the total loan amount.

What about those pesky loan-to value (LTV) ratios?  If you have a 30-year fixed-rate loan, there is no maximum LTV ratio.  If the fixed-rate loan is in the range of 30 to 40 years, the maximum LTV is 105 percent.  For adjustable-rate loans, the maximum LTV is also 105 percent with an initial fixed period of five years or more.

The new guidelines also allow borrowers to refinance from a 30-year mortgage to a shorter-term loan.  The government is encouraging this because borrowers can increase equity more quickly and take advantage of extremely low rates.

If you have any questions or are concerned with whether or not you qualify, take a look at this handy-dandy Making Home Affordable mortgage calculator and don’t forget that our Home Loan Experts at Quicken Loans will be happy to help answer any questions you have!


Eric Mally is a writer for Quicken Loans, a company whose clients believe it’s Engineered to Amaze.  Interested in being Amazed by us? Read trusted reviews at Quicken Loans Reviews and at Epinions.

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. I need to modify my loan I have worked with BAC for a reduction in my mortgage and they didn’t do it I contacted you guys and I still haven’t heard anything please advise my mortgage was purchase in 2007

  2. I am confused? I have a mortgage that was taken out in 2003. It is owned by Fannie Mae but when I called Quicken they told me I couldn’t do a HARP loan because I had to go through the lender that is servicing my loan currently. Why can’t I go through whoever I want? It is owned by Fannie Mae, not the local lender servicing it.

    1. Hi Rebecca!

      We’re very sorry about any confusion that may have happened. I’m having our Home Loan Experts look into this for you. They should be in touch with you soon.

      Thanks for reading!

    1. Hey Michael, I’ve sent your question to our Home Loan Experts so they can provide some detailed insight into your question. They should be in touch soon. Thanks for reading!

  3. I have a loan with a certain lender which will remain unnamed. I contacted them to discuss refinancing under the HARP program. The rate seemed high so I contacted a broker in my state and asked him about using him to refinance. He said that he couldn’t do it because my current lender hasn’t shared the guidelines with him. If one of these big lenders (he said the list was long) holds my loan does that mean that I am stuck with that lender?

  4. I still wasn’t eligible for HARP 2.0 despite a ridiculously high credit score and not one missed payment since I bought my overpriced home (back in 2007, the WORST time to buy a house). Apparently Freddie Mac & PMI are bad words to those participating in HARP…I thought I was one of those people HARP was supposed to help

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