HARP extension welcome news to millions of underwater homeowners April 12, 2013 The FHFA’s announcement to extend the HARP deadline to 2015 is much needed for the estimated 2.7 million underwater homeowners who are eligible and still able to benefit by refinancing. Unfortunately, a too good to be true perception coupled with long lines to refinance and repeated “no’s” from lenders who are not utilizing HARP to its fullest extent have left many disgruntled to enter another arduous loan process. But for those homeowners needing a personal stimulus, picking up the phone again is well worth it. The average savings from a HARP refinance is around $200 a month with an average rate reduction of 1.75%, resulting in $2,400 savings per closed loan per year and $74,000 per lifetime (assuming a 30-year mortgage). The potential stimulus for the economy is even more significant, reaching up to $6.5 billion ($2,400 in savings a year per consumer x 2.7 million consumers). These savings are more than just numbers on a spreadsheet. A Quicken Loans client and active duty Air Force recruiter from Sacramento, CA, was able to cut $763 off his monthly payment for his investment property and lowered his rate down by more than a point through HARP. This was after his original lender told him they couldn’t help. Another Quicken Loans HARP client from North Brunswick, NJ, was able to save $387 on his monthly payment and lower his rate by more than a point to 3.85%. In a monthly video series, Markets and Musings, Quicken Loans Chief Economist sat down to discuss some of the recent changes that have opened up HARP to more underwater homeowners. If you would like to talk to Bob about the effect the HARP extension will have on consumers and the economy, please visit our contact us page.