Tennessee HARP Mortgage Lenders Help Underwater Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure

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HARP Mortgage Lender reports that while the nation’s deeply underwater borrowers are saving an average of $4,300 a year through the Home Affordable refinance program, Tennessee borrowers with high loan-to-value ratios are under-utilizing the program in favor of foreclosure, and that Tennessee HARP lenders could attract many new clients by simply making borrowers aware of the program.

Tennessee HARP loan

Tennessee HARP refinancers are saving an average of $4,300 a year.

HARP is being criminally underused by deeply underwater borrowers in Tennessee.

HARP Mortgage Lender, a national lending network of approved mortgage professionals who work with the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Refinance Program, reports that Tennessee HARP lenders could greatly benefit by reaching out to the state’s deeply underwater borrowers, who due to a lack of awareness of the large savings they could obtain through HARP, are often choosing foreclosure over refinancing.

Following provisions to the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) in late 2011, 2012 saw 1.1 million borrowers using HARP loans—a number equal to the amount of loans that HARP had issued in its first three years combined. The massive uptick can be attributed to amendments that made the program more accessible to borrowers with high loan-to-value (LTV) ratios on their mortgages. The most important of these provisions was that borrowers with LTV’s over 125 who were previously denied access to the program are now able to access it. Statistics back this up, with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reporting 228,141 HARP loans to borrowers with LTV’s over 125 in 2012, or 21 percent of all the year’s HARP loans.

CLICK HERE to apply for a HARP loan.

This trend escalated to 25 percent in January 2013, the most recent month on FHFA record, as 24,299 of the nation’s 97,589 monthly loans were issued to borrowers with LTV’s above 125. But while deeply underwater borrowers are reaping the benefits of HARP nationwide, the trend does not seem to have caught on in Tennessee. Only 308 of the state’s 10,630 loans in 2012 were used by borrowers with LTV’s over 125. That’s less than 3 percent of all HARP loans issued in the state, and 18 percent lower than the state’s national average. The stat is even more befuddling when you add the recent news that HARP-eligible Tennessee borrowers could be saving the national average of $4,300 a year through the program, as reported by Fannie Mae.

And when you take into account that Tennessee had 23,583 foreclosures in 2012 versus only 308 HARP loans for above-125-LTV borrowers, it seems as if the state’s deeply underwater borrowers aren’t getting the message that there are other options than debt-inducing mortgage bankruptcy.

“One out of every 32 mortgages in Tennessee went into foreclosure in 2012,” says Ryan Workman of Proficio Mortgage Ventures, LLC, a HARP lender licensed in Tennessee, citing data from analytics company CoreLogic. “If only more borrowers hit hard by the recession knew of the thousands they could be saving through HARP, they might be able to not only keep their homes, but also put savings away for life essentials that they might have all but given up on.”

The good news for Tennessee HARP borrowers is that the FHFA recently announced that HARP will be extended an additional two years through December 31, 2015, and that the FHFA is working on an awareness campaign to make sure that foreclosure situations exactly like the one in Tennessee are lessened as more deeply underwater borrowers find out about the great Tennessee HARP mortgage rates and all the other savings that this multifaceted home loan tool has to offer.

About HARP

The Home Affordable Refinance Program was amended in October 2011 by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA),Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac as part of an agreement to make it simpler for mortgage lenders to assist HARP-eligible borrowers in refinancing.

The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) is meant to assist responsible borrowers with streamline refinancing. Borrowers who are current on mortgage payments, but have seen a drop in their home’s value, have the option of this refinancing tool.

To be eligible for HARP 2.0, borrowers must fit these qualifications:

1) Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac purchased or has guaranteed first loan.
2) Loan was acquired by Fannie or Freddie prior to May 31, 2009.
3) Borrowers are current on mortgage payments.
4) Borrowers owe more than their home is valued at, or there is minimal equity.
5) All mortgage payments are on time in the last 6 months.
     6) No sixty (60) day late payments in the last 12 months.

Click HERE to check HARP Eligibility

HARP Mortgage Lender is a nationwide online network of pre-approved home loan professionals and lending institutions that have been approved to offer the Obama Administration’s updated versions of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0 - 3.0). To talk to a HARP specialist, call toll-free at 888-460-2939.

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Mark Madsen

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