The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will host its first Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) outreach event since extending the program until the end of 2016 on Friday, June 12, in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Phoenix event will the the sixth HARP outreach event; the previous five were in Newark, Miami, Detroit, Atlanta, and Chicago. The purpose of the Phoenix outreach event will be to encourage more than 10,000 HARP-eligible residents of the area (and more than 18,000 in Arizona altogether) to enroll in the program and save on their mortgage. FHFA estimates there are more than 600,000 HARP-eligible borrowers nationwide.
The FHFA stated in its first quarter refinance report that more than 31,000 borrowers nationwide refinanced through HARP in Q1, bringing the total number of borrowers who have refinanced through HARP up to more than 3.3 million since it was introduced in 2009 as part of the Making Home Affordable program.
“There are more than 10,000 homeowners in the Phoenix area, and even more statewide who could save, on average, more than $2,400 per year by refinancing through HARP,” FHFA Director Mel Watt said. “Our goal is to join forces with community leaders and other trusted sources so that borrowers who are current on their mortgage, but have little equity in their homes, know they have refinancing options and can still join the 3.3 million Americans who have saved money by refinancing through HARP.”
Megan Moore, a special adviser to Watt, will moderate a panel discussion at the Phoenix event. Representatives from the Department of Treasury, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Arizona Department of Housing will be on the panel.
Borrowers are eligible for a HARP loan if they meet the following requirements: Their loan must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac; the loan must have been originated on or before May 31, 2009; LTV ratio must be greater than 80 percent; and they borrower must be current on mortgage payments. They must not have had a late payment in the previous six months or more than one late payment in the previous 12 months. Borrowers who could benefit from HARP are referred to as “in the money” borrowers; they are “in the money” if they meet all the HARP eligibility requirements, have a remaining balance on their loan of greater than $50,000 with more than 10 years left on their term, and have an interest rate of more than 1.5 percent more than current market rates.
The FHFA said borrowers will typically benefit financially from HARP if they meet the aforementioned criteria and have a remaining balance of more than $50,000 on their mortgage, have more than 10 years left on their term, and have an interest rate of at least 1.5 percent higher than the current market rates. FHFA estimates borrowers can save an average of about $200 per month on their mortgage payments with a HARP refinance.