According to the FHFA, the purpose of the campaign is to inform underwater borrowers who have been making their monthly mortgage payments to ask their lender about the options they have to refinance through HARP.
To be eligible for a HARP refinance, homeowners must meet the following four criteria: First, the loan must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Secondly, the mortgage must have been sold to the government-sponsored entities before May 31, 2009. Another requirement to qualify for a HARP refinance is that the current loan-to-value ratio must be greater than 80%. Lastly, the borrower must be current on their mortgage payments with no late payments in the last six months and no more than one late payment in the last 12 months.
Since HARP was created in early 2009, more than 2.8 million homeowners have refinanced their loans through the program.
“With the launch of this campaign we look forward to reaching those homeowners who may not know about the program or understand the eligibility criteria to take advantage of today’s low interest rates by refinancing through HARP,” said FHFA acting director Edward DeMarco.
As part of the campaign, the FHFA has hired HGTV personality star from “Power Broker” Mike Aubrey to help reach homeowners who may qualify for a mortgage refinance under HARP.
“HARP is an absolute no brainer for eligible homeowners,” Aubrey stated in a press release. “This program allows underwater homeowners the option to refinance at a lower rate. I spend my time on TV and as a Realtor trying to get deals for my clients. FHFA has already done the legwork to create an amazing deal. It’s as simple as finding out if you qualify, getting the refinance done and watching the savings add up.”