Since 2009, the Congress, FHFA and the FHA have introduced and/or improved a myriad of homeowner-friendly mortgage programs including the HARP refinance, the FHA Streamline Refinance, the USDA Streamline Refinance and other low-equity loan terms.
Just because the government creates a mortgage program, though, that doesn't mean that mortgage banks will adopt it.
HARP 2.0 was an attempt to get additional mortgage lenders to participate in the HARP mortgage program. Now, the White House is requesting a second round of updates to Home Affordable Refinance Program.
It's the refinance program that would be known as HARP 3.0. The proposed changes to HARP are sensible and would render millions more U.S. households HARP-eligible.
A few of the proposed changes to HARP for HARP 3
- Extend the HARP eligibility date from May 31, 2009 to May 31, 2010
- Require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to remove barriers to competition among lenders by requiring the same streamlined underwriting process for "new-servicer" loans as "same-servicer" loans.
- Eliminate employment and income verification completely
- Sanction second lien holders which fail to subordinate to a HARP first mortgage
- Sanction mortgage insurers which refuse to transfer existing mortgage insurance coverage to a new loan
- Extend the loan-to-value range for certain HARP loan types
- Prohibit risk-based pricing adjustment on Fannie-to-Fannie loans, and Freddie-to-Freddie loans
HARP 3 is just in discussion phases now and, if it passes, its final form may not resemble the loan described above.