Freddie Mac and HARP
The Home Affordable Refinance Program, commonly known as HARP is available for Freddie Mac mortgages too.
When the HARP 2.0 program rolled out at the end of 2011, it offered holders of Conventional Mortgages the opportunity to refinance their homes and take advantage of low interest rates even if the value of their home had dropped. Conventional mortgages are made up of mortgages that are backed either by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Remember: Even if you make your mortgage payments to a particular bank or mortgage lender, if you have a Conventional Mortgage, you probably have a mortgage that is owned or back by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Unfortunately, many lenders chose to only focus on the Fannie Mae portion of the HARP program. The Fannie Mae portion, known as DU Refi Plus has been more widely available because more lenders deal with Fannie Mae compared to Freddie Mac. Fannie Mae typically has at least a 50% larger market share than Freddie Mac. Borrowers who have Freddie Mac owned mortgages have sometimes had trouble taking advantage of the benefits of HARP due to a lack of lenders offering this version of the program.
The good news for borrowers with Freddie Mac owned mortgages is that the HARP program IS available for them too.
The Freddie Mac portion of HARP is known as Open Access. The Open Access Program has the same benefits as the Fannie Mae DU Refi Plus program and also allows homeowners the benefit of refinancing their home even if the value of the home has fallen.
Overview of the HARP Freddie Mac Open Access Program….
- Only for mortgages currently owned or backed by Freddie Mac
no cash out or paying off other debts allowed with this program
no deliquent mortgage payments in the last 6 months and only a
total of one 30 day late payment is allowed in the last 12 months
no maximum LTV for new Fixed Rate Mortgages (based on credit score)
105% maximum LTV for those seeking a new Adjustable Rate
Mortgage through the HARP program
first time HARP users only, if you closed a mortgage under previous
HARP editions, you can not apply for this new edition
current home does not need to be a primary residence as long as the
home was first purchased as a primary residence
any 2nd mortgages on property will have to be subordinated by the
current 2nd mortgage holder, this depends on the 2nd mortgage
holder agreeing to this
if the current mortgage has monthly Mortgage Insurance, the new
mortgage must also have the same level of Mortgage Insurance
If you have a Freddie Mac mortgage in Pennsylvania and would like to lower your interest rate with the HARP Open Access program, feel free to contact me with further questions.
Keith Landis is a Licensed Mortgage Loan Officer covering all of Pennsylvania. He can be reached directly at 412-567-6560 at email@example.com
NMLS # 137243
Keystone Home Finance LLC - NMLS# 834342