Since home values plummeted drastically in Florida since 2006, many homeowners are paying off mortgages nowhere near their homes’ appraisals. A second version of the Home Affordable Refinance Program was established by the federal government to offer such people relief.
HARP 2.0 allows underwater homeowners who have been responsible with making their mortgage programs to refinance to a lower rate. Many people have been taking advantage of the program – a wise decision – and along with its advent have come many misconceptions.
Let’s clear some of this up.
– Do I need to use the same lender from my initial loan?
No. You are allowed to shop around for a better rate.
– My current lender will give me the best deal, right?
No. Rarely is this the case. It is best to shop around. Despite being upside down, you do have options.
– Do I need money at closing?
Depends. Never for Fannie Mae loans. Sometimes for Freddie Mac ones.
– Will HARP 2.0 reduce the amount I owe on my loan?
No. The objective of a refinance under HARP is to help homeowners get into more stable or more affordable loans. Refinancing will not reduce the principal amount you owe to the first lien mortgage holder or any other debt you owe.