Editor’s note: The HARP program, designed to help homeowners who owed more than their homes were worth, expired Dec. 31, 2018. There are many good options for refinancing, so please contact us at your earliest convenience.
According to RealtyTrac, 20.7% of Tampa Bay homeowners were underwater with their mortgage at the end of 2015, which is significantly higher than the national average of 11.5%.
For these nearly 170,000 Tampa Bay homeowners who are underwater with their mortgage, HARP refinancing or FHA Streamline refinancing could be the perfect solution.
HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) is a government mortgage refinance product that offers homeowners a chance to refinance when they are underwater. The program launched in March 2009, and ends at the end of December 2016.
With this program, homeowners may be eligible to refinance no matter how much they are underwater, and without having an appraisal or going through underwriting.
The qualifying requirements of HARP include:
- You must have a current loan from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, with no 30-day+ late payments in the last six months, and no more than one late payment in the past 12 months.
- Your existing mortgage was originated no later than May 31, 2009.
- Your home is your primary residence, a 1-unit second home, or a 1- to 4-unit investment property.
FHA Streamline Refinance
A FHA Streamline refinance is a mortgage loan available to homeowners who currently have an FHA mortgage. The program waives the documentation required by a bank, increasing approval chances, and offering homeowners the quickest and simplest way to refinance mortgages at today’s mortgage rates.
A FHA Streamline refinance does not require income and employment verification, bank account and credit score verification, or an appraisal of the home. The “no appraisal” feature is a hallmark of this refinance mortgage, allowing the use of the original purchase price as the home’s current value, regardless of actual worth.
For eligibility, FHA requires (current as of April 2016):
- A perfect mortgage payment history for the past three months. Only one late payment is allowed in the last 12 months. And, loans must be current at the time of closing.
- Six mortgage payments on the current FHA-insured loan, and a 210 day waiting period between refinances.
- A tangible reason for refinancing, such as reducing the sum total of principal, interest, and mortgage insurance as a whole by 5 percent or more.
To learn more about FHA Streamline refinancing, see our article, 3 Types of FHA Streamline Refinances To Lower Your Monthly Mortgage Payment With A Reduced Mortgage Insurance Rate.
Marimark Mortgage is a mortgage broker serving all of Florida, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
As a mortgage originator, we specialize in conventional home mortgages, FHA, VA and USDA mortgage options, refinance loans, and reverse mortgages. We’ve also worked extensively with a variety of refinancing options to help clients lower their payments on their home.
To get started with a mortgage to buy your next home, please fill out our Quick Mortgage Application, or contact us direct.