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HARP Refinances Grow More Popular, Increasing Share of Illinois Refinances

By: Michael Foster | October 3rd, 2012

Over 24 percent of all mortgage refinances in Illinois were Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) mortgage refinances, according to data released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.Of the 11,786 active Fannie Mae mortgage refinances in Illinois in July 2012, 2,874 were part of the HARP 2.0 program. Since the HARP program began, over 111,000 houses and condominiums in Illinois have been refinanced through the program, 15% of total Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinances conducted since the HARP program was launched.

HARP 2.0 refers to the reboot of the HARP program in October 2011, when the FHFA decided to revamp requirements to the program that would help hundreds of thousands of Americans qualify for the program. Until then, homeowners who owed more than 125 percent of the home’s value could not qualify for a HARP refinance. Thanks to the new rules put in effect at the end of 2011, that restriction was removed, meaning that anyone with a Fannie Me or Freddie Mac guaranteed loan who has remained current on the loan for the past six months and no more than one late payment over the past twelve months can qualify for a HARP 2.0 loan, no matter how much they owe. In other words, if you owe $300,000 on your house but the house’s fair market value is $100,000, you can still qualify for a HARP 2.0 refinance.

The ease of loan-to-value requirements has caused a surge of interest in HARP 2.0 mortgages, with several homeowners who are severely underwater seeking a HARP 2.0 refinance. In Illinois, 5,882 mortgages which exceed 125% of the underlying home’s value had been or were being refinanced under the HARP 2.0 program since January 2012.
With hundreds of thousands of Illinois residents still underwater on their homes, the HARP program may prove to remain popular in the state for a long time to come. However, not all banks will approve HARP loans, and not all banks offer the same low rates on those loans.

FreeRateUpdate.com surveys more than two dozen wholesale and direct lenders’ rate sheets to determine the most accurate mortgage rates available to well qualified consumers at a standard 0.7 to 1% point origination fee.


Latest HARP Mortgage News April 23rd, 2014

  • Mortgage Charges for FHA Mortgages May Increase in Illinois

    By: Michael Foster | October 2nd, 2012

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced plans to raise FHA mortgage fees in five states, including Illinois, to cover the cost of lengthy and slow foreclosure processes that have kept thousands of homeowners in limbo in the state. … Continue reading

  • Illinois Mortgage Rates: Illinois Mortgage Rates Are Finally Stable

    By: Vanessa Rodriguez | January 25th, 2011

    Last week, Illinois mortgage rates had spiked up because of pessimism in home construction and dips in mortgage backed securities prices. Fortunately, mortgage rates in Illinois have remained unchanged. A 30-year fixed rate conforming mortgage in Illinois has a mortgage rate of 4.625 percent. A 15-year fixed rate conforming mortgage has a rate of 4.000 percent. An Illinois 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage has a mortgage rate of 3.125 percent. For those Illinois borrowers who exceed the qualification guidelines can expect to obtain a home mortgage loan at these steady mortgage rates with only 0.7 to 1.0 origination points. Continue reading