HARP 2.0: Refinance your Underwater Mortgage in Arizona


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HARP 2.0 is a federal program that was announced in October 2011. It is designed for homeowners who purchased their homes during the housing bubble, but now find their mortgage underwater. Currently those people are unable to refinance under existing programs due to the depreciation in their homes value. This is significant because up to half of Arizona mortgages are underwater.

The original HARP program which allowed a home owner to borrow up to 125% of their homes value was unsuccessful because home prices kept falling after the guidelines were set. A big difference in HARP 2.0 is that loan-to-value limit has been removed. This means the program will be available to many more people.

There are some qualification requirements. For instance, your mortgage must be owned by Fannie or Freddie. If you aren’t sure, you can look it up here:

You must also be able to show you can afford your new mortgage should it be refinanced.
The full details of HARP 2.0 are still in the works, but we anticipate the program to be fully rolled out in March of this year.

Ultimately the goal of the program is to reduce your underwater mortgage payment to a more affordable level. They want to do everything they can to avoid foreclosures, so if your home isn’t worth what you owe, you should consider it.

How do I find out if I am eligible for HARP 2.0 and how do I get started?

Here are the steps to take advantage of the new and improved HARP 2.0 program. You will want to get ahead of the huge wave of people looking to use this program to lower their payments. Follow these easy steps and you will be in line first.


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  1. Make sure your Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan was completed prior to June 1, 2009. Any loans completed after that will not qualify for this program at this time.
  2. Check up above to make sure your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Don’t confuse this with the servicer of your loan (who you pay your mortgage to). If you are not sure just check it doesn’t take long. Be sure to try all the borrowers’ names if there is more than one of you on the loan. If you get a match go to step 3!
  3. If you are interested in getting started you can send me an emailwith your name and “FANNIE MAE” or “FREDDIE MAC” in the subject line and your contact info in the email and I will follow up with you.
    1. If you are a past customer I will just need to update your information already on file. You can go to step 3.3.
    2. If you are a new customer you can simplify the process by completing the online loan application here: APPLY NOW
    3. Then go to the What’s Needed page here. You can scan and email this to me so we can complete your loan application.

HARP 2.0 Things to Know


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  1. Automated underwriting will determine whether an appraisal is necessary for your refinance.
  2. Make sure you know if your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
  3. The HARP program is for a rate and term refinance of a first lien mortgage amount up to the conforming loan limit (currently in most parts of Arizona that limit is $417,000). You cannot get cash out or combine a first and second loan.
  4. If you have a second mortgage or HELOC it will need to be subordinated. This means that the second mortgage holder must agree to let you refinance and remain in the second position. Don’t worry about this now. We take care of the paper work to do this and most second mortgages are allowing it.
  5. The HARP program is available for most Owner Occupied, Second Home, and Investment Properties. It does not matter how you obtained the property. It only matters what the status of the property is today. If it is currently an owner occupied then you will refinance it with owner occupied interest rates. If it is currently an investment property then you will get investment property rates.
  6. Borrowers must be current on their mortgage and no more than 30 days late on their mortgage in the past twelve months.
  7. If you currently do not have PMI (private mortgage insurance) you will not have it with the new loan either no matter what your LTV (Loan to Value) currently is.

Please call me (Cal – 602.279.7777 x101) or email me if you have any questions.