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HARP 2.0: Housing Recovery in Minnesota and U.S.

By: Morris Newman | October 12th, 2012

The HARP 2.0 refinance program has an important role to play in helping the housing market recover and its end date should be extended to the end of 2013, a government lending regulator said this month.

HARP 2.0 is a government-backed refinance program that allows Minnesotans to re-fi “underwater” mortgages, or home loans in which the unpaid principal is higher than the market value of the home. Underwater mortgages are being closely watched by both the mortgage industry and banking regulators, because these loans are at greatest risk. Currently, an estimated 15 million American households are fall into this category..

Issued in mid-October, The Federal Home Finance Agency (FHFA) strategic plan for 2013-2017 repeatedly names HARP 2.0 as one of the tools that the agency intends to use to realize its goals. Those goals include keeping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “safe and sound,” preserving “stability, liquidity, and access in housing finance;” and preparing “for the future of housing finance in the United States.”

FHFA is the federal regulator that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two federally chartered enterprises which buy the majority of home loans in America.

The new strategic plan says the regulator wants to develop new programs to keep people in their homes, and that “refinements” to the HARP program is part of that strategy. Since its enhancement in October 2011, HARP loans have grown steadily in volume, and currently represent about one in four of all mortgage refinances in America.

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 about a 1 point origination fee.


Latest HARP Mortgage News April 24th, 2014