$4,300 a year is a nice chunk of change, but that number could actually pale in comparison to the return borrowers who use HARP to stick with their mortgage could reap several years from now.
Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) June 06, 2013
Harp Mortgage Lender, a national lending network of mortgage professionals approved to work with the Obama Administration’s Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), reports that recent data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) sees California as the No. 1 user of HARP loans in the country through early 2013, a trend that has been occurring throughout the program’s four-year history, and one that continues to spell savings of over $4,300 a month on average for the HARP-eager borrowers of the Golden State, who have been steadily using more and more loans as the housing market continues to heat up.
In the FHFA’s Refinance Report published May 7, California HARP borrowers used 14,204 HARP loans for the most recent month on record, February of 2013. This was up 27 loans from January’s total of 14,177, and up a whopping 2,990 loans from 11,214 in the last month of 2012—all signs that there is only increasing demand for a program that had as many loans in 2012 nationwide (1.1 million) as it did in its first three years prior to that combined. A reason for this increase is undoubtedly the revisions to HARP in late 2011 that made the program more accessible to deeply underwater borrowers, not to mention the recent housing rebound that is seeing median home sales values spiking in 2013 from San Diego up to San Francisco, giving underwater borrowers much more of an incentive to hang on to homes which have become increasingly valuable assets.
In fact, the most recent data from analytics company RealtyTrac sees the median sales price for homes in L.A. up 14.7 from a year ago, up 19 percent in San Diego, and up a California metro-leading 30.4 percent in Bakersfield from the previous year. What this data means for underwater borrowers is that it’s a fantastic time to get locked into the low California HARP rates before they rise alongside the prospering California housing market. It also means that Californians are beginning to see homes as a profitable investment again, which could explain why RealtyTrac sees foreclosure filings down 59 percent year-over-year.
Combine these stats with the recent prediction by Fannie Mae that California HARP refinancers are saving more than $4,300 a year on their mortgages, and it’s clear why tens of thousands of Californians are turning to the program every month. “One could argue that HARP loans are more useful than ever before to California borrowers trying to avoid a foreclosure or short sale,” says Alameda, California Mortgage Expert Garrick Werdmuller at First Priority Financial. “Sure, $4,300 a year is a nice chunk of change, but that number could actually pale in comparison to the return borrowers who use HARP to stick with their mortgage could reap several years from now if the housing market continues to gain value at this rate.”
The Home Affordable Refinance Program was amended in October of 2011 through an agreement between the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac, which simplified the accessibility of the program for borrowers looking to refinance through mortgage lenders.
A main goal of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) is to help responsible borrowers with the process of streamline refinancing. Eligible borrowers who are current with mortgage payments but have seen their home lose value are given the option of HARP refinancing.
HARP 2.0 eligibility guidelines:
1) Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac owns or has guaranteed first loan.
2) Fannie or Freddie purchased the loan prior to May 31, 2009.
3) Borrowers must be current with mortgage payments.
4) Borrowers owe more than their home is worth, or there is minimal equity.
5) All mortgage payments have been prompt in the past 6 months.
6) No sixty (60) day late payments in the last 12 months.
HARP Mortgage Lender is a nationwide online network of pre-approved home loan professionals and lending institutions that are authorized to deal in the Obama Administration’s revamped versions of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0 - 3.0). To learn more from a HARP specialist, call toll-free at 888-460-2939.