HARP Refinance Program The economic downturn has left thousands of homeowners owing more on their homes than they’re worth – and shutting them out of refinancing with today’s current low interest rates. If this situation sounds like you or someone you know, the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) may be able to help. What Is a HARP Refinance? A HARP refinance is designed to help homeowners who aren’t behind on their mortgage payments but have been unable to get traditional refinancing because the value of their home has declined. HARP refinances help homeowners who are “underwater” on their mortgage acquire a more stable and cost-effective home loan that reduces their monthly payments. Who is HARP Eligible? A homeowner’s eligibility for a HARP refinance is governed by a number of criteria, including: The homeowner must be current on their mortgage at the time of the refinance, with a good payment history over the past 12 months. Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac must own or guarantee the home loan. Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac must have purchased the mortgage on or before May 31, 2009. The mortgage cannot have been refinanced through HARP in the past unless it is a Fannie Mae loan refinanced through HARP between March and May of 2009. The current loan-to-value ratio must exceed 80%. Benefits of a HARP Refinance Refinancing through HARP offers mortgage holders who currently owe more than their home is worth a significant number of benefits, including: Lowering monthly payment or shortening loan term Building equity faster and saving money No limit on maximum loan-to-value for most mortgages Mortgage insurance not required in some cases Reduction or elimination of some fees HARP Refinance Process The first step in the HARP refinance process is to determine whether your home loan is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. You can determine this by using their respective loan lookup tools. Fannie Mae’s loan lookup tool can be found here and Freddie Mac’s loan lookup tool can be found here. Learn More About HARP Refinancing Options Let Waterstone Mortgage guide you through the HARP refinancing process. Contact us and a qualified home loan professional will go over your options with you and walk you through the application process. Get started with a pre-qualification today! Subject to credit approval. To be HARP eligible, your mortgage must have been sold to FNMA or FHLMC prior to May 31, 2009, be current on payments, and must meet other program requirements. Interest on the portion of a HARP refinance that exceeds the original purchase price of the home plus the cost (if applicable) of any substantial home improvements that have been made is not tax deductible for Federal income tax purposes. You should consult a tax advisor for further information regarding the deductibility of interest and charges. If you are a servicemember on active duty, prior to seeking a refinance of your existing loan, consult your legal advisor regarding the loss of any of the benefits you are entitled to under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act or applicable state law.