HARP Myths - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Update: HARP expires December 31, 2018.

Recently, we’ve discussed confusions on adjustable rate mortgages, and in the past we’ve educated readers on everything from jumbo loans to the intricacies of escrow, and not too long ago we tackled some myths about HARP, aka the Home Affordable Refinance Program. It turns out that no matter how straightforward HARP may be, some find it confusing and too good to be true. It’s time we took a second crack at examining common myths about HARP.

Myth: HARP Qualifications Are so Complex, No One Can Qualify

While HARP does have specific qualifications, many homeowners would be surprised to find out that they meet the requirements just fine. Let’s break down the HARP requirements for a little more clarity.

  • The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
  • The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.

These are the two big ones, and the most clear of the requirements that homeowners must hit. The HARP program doesn’t include mortgages not associated with Freddie or Fannie. They also must have been sold before the May 31 deadline.

  • The mortgage cannot have been refinanced under HARP previously unless it’s a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March – May, 2009.

This requirement was put in to assure no homeowner can refinance into HARP again, with the exception of the three month period in 2009. You can only do it once, people.

  • The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%.

Straight from our incredibly informative Quicken Loans mortgage glossary, loan-to-value ratio is the percentage of the loan amount to the appraised value of the property. It goes on to say that low LTV ratios are considered to be below 80%. So if the appraised value of your home plummets suddenly like it did for many HARP-eligible homeowners, your LTV can rise above 80%. And finally, you have to practice good finance in order to be eligible for HARP.

  • The borrower must be current on the mortgage at the time of the refinance, with a good payment history in the past 12 months.

This is pretty straightforward as well: you must have been current on your payments for the past year and up until you apply for HARP. This may seem obvious, but having timely mortgage payments is essential to demonstrating you won’t mismanage the second chance that is the HARP program.

That wasn’t so bad now was it? HARP’s requirements are no more daunting than any other home loan, but more things may be asked of you once you get further in the application process. Don’t be deterred by any mysterious aspect of HARP. It’s helped out many homeowners before and it certainly has an expiration date so hop on it while you still can.

Talk to a home loan expert today to learn how HARP can help you!


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This Post Has 25 Comments

  1. I own a mobilehome in S. California Orange County, but do not own the land. I live in a mobilehome park. They own the land. Currently paying 9% APR, can I get a re-fi if I am with just a regular Mortgage company and not FHA or Fanny Mac? I have a double wide that is a 2000 manufactured one?

    1. Hi Jennifer:

      I’m going to preface this by saying that we do not personally do any lending on mobile and manufactured homes. That being said, it’s possible to find a bank that will refinance it for you. I can’t recommend any, but there are local banks that could help you as well as lenders that specialize in manufactured and mobile homes.


  2. Can I get HARP refinancing on a manufactured home where the home and land are titled together and garage attached with all brick foundation?

  3. Does HARP finance Lots with a manufactured home on it? We currently live on the land paying for the home and now interested in purchasing the Lot.

    1. Hi Michael! I’ve passed your question on to our team of mortgage experts. They’ll reach out soon to discuss your options.

  4. Hi! Can I get a HARP loan that combines my current mortgage, home equity loan, and enough cash to payoff all my credit card debt?

    1. Hi Earl! One of our mortgage experts will contact you soon to look into your specific situation and see what you’re options are.

    1. Hi Rusty! I’ve passed your comment on to our mortgage experts who will reach out to discuss your options.

      1. Hi David:

        Unfortunately, we don’t do financing on either manufactured homes or plots of land, so I don’t think we are qualified to answer that question. You may have better luck checking with another lender.

        Kevin Graham

  5. Who do I talk to to find out if I can get Help. I’m 63, No late payments. I did have a bankruptcy about 5 years ago. My home (according to the county accessors office) is worth about $100,000. I owe $205,000. My payment is about $1132.00. My mortgage co. is Northstar out of texas. They wont even return my calls.

      1. Hi Walt:

        It may be possible to get a HARP loan through another lender on a mobile home if Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac owned your loan before May 31, 2009. However, at this time, we do not offer loans on mobile homes.

        Kevin Graham

    1. Hi Renee! I want you to get an answer tailored to your specific situation so I’ve forwarded your question to our Home Loan Experts who should be in touch with you soon.

      Thanks for reading!

    1. Hi Dave

      the HARP program helps you qualify for a mortgage, but other factors (your credit and loan-to-value, for example) will set what rate you qualify for. You’ll need to speak to a licensed mortgage banker to get a specific rate. Let us know if you’d like to speak with someone and we will forward your information.



    1. Hi Vic! To give you the most accurate answer, I’ve forwarded your question to our Home Loan Experts who should be in touch shortly! Thanks for reading!

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