If you’re not behind on your mortgage payments but have been unable to get traditional refinancing because the value of your home has declined, you may be eligible to refinance through Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). HARP is designed to help you get a new, more affordable, more stable mortgage. Here are the steps to see if you are eligible for the HARP program.
Ensure Fannie or Freddie backs your mortgage
To check if your mortgage is backed by Fannie Mae, visit http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup/. If your mortgage is not found, try Freddie Mac’s loan lookup at https://ww3.freddiemac.com/corporate/. Mortgages not listed on either website are not backed by Fannie or Freddie and, therefore, are not HARP-eligible.
Determine if your mortgage is old enough
mortgage must have started in mid-May 2009 or earlier. You can find your mortgage start date by looking at your closing paperwork. In the upper-right-hand corner of your settlement is your “funding date”–that’s the date you’re looking for.
Does your current mortgage have LPMI?
HARP 2.0 is designed to help homeowners with or without private mortgage insurance (PMI), but the government’s revisions specifically excludes homeowners that chose lender-paid mortgage insurance
You must be current
HARP 2.0 requires that all homeowners have made their last six mortgage payments on time, with a maximum of one 30-day late payment in the past year.
Find and organize your supporting paperwork
Since HARP mortgages are underwritten like every other type of mortgage, you will be required to provide bank statements, a drivers license, homeowners insurance information, pay stubs and W-2s. If you’re self-employed, you’ll have to provide a few years of tax returns to verify your income.