HARP Most Commonly Asked Questions - Answered!

Erik Sandstrom

Mortgage Expert - Call 1-619-379-8999
Staff member
Loan Safe Mortgage
Jan 14, 2011
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San Diego, California
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Here are our guidelines on refinancing loans that are previously modified:

Loan Mods When the borrower has done a loan mod in the past we can offer them a loan if the following has happen:
12 months seasonings since the loan mod No lates prior to the loan mod
  • Borrower provides a copy of the modification (showing it is a permanent mod)
  • The modification could not have provided forgiveness on the principle owed or interest owed
  • This applies to conventional and FHA loans. If the borrower cannot meet all of the above requirements we must wait 3 years to offer them a loan .
 
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Erik Sandstrom

Mortgage Expert - Call 1-619-379-8999
Staff member
Loan Safe Mortgage
Jan 14, 2011
2,100
181
63
San Diego, California
www.loansreduced.com
Here are our revised Loan Modification guidelines for the HARP refinance:

Loan Mods When the borrower has done a loan mod in the past we can offer them a loan if the following has happen:
12 months seasonings since the loan mod No lates prior to the loan mod
  • Borrower provides a copy of the modification (showing it is a permanent mod)
  • The modification could not have provided forgiveness on the principle owed or interest owed
  • This applies to conventional and FHA loans. If the borrower cannot meet all of the above requirements we must wait 3 years to offer them a loan.
It's definitely a tough box to fit in as most people were "required" to go behind in order for the bank to consider a loan modification. I wouldn't be surprised if these guidelines are updated soon to allow a refinance after making 12 months of payments on time. I'll keep everyone in the loop if I hear of anything new.
 

nbtapia1

LoanSafe Member
Jun 3, 2009
165
5
18
USA
Here are our revised Loan Modification guidelines for the HARP refinance:

Loan Mods When the borrower has done a loan mod in the past we can offer them a loan if the following has happen:
12 months seasonings since the loan mod No lates prior to the loan mod
  • Borrower provides a copy of the modification (showing it is a permanent mod)
  • The modification could not have provided forgiveness on the principle owed or interest owed
  • This applies to conventional and FHA loans. If the borrower cannot meet all of the above requirements we must wait 3 years to offer them a loan.
It's definitely a tough box to fit in as most people were "required" to go behind in order for the bank to consider a loan modification. I wouldn't be surprised if these guidelines are updated soon to allow a refinance after making 12 months of payments on time. I'll keep everyone in the loop if I hear of anything new.
Yes, I was late to get loan modification. Also loan modif. was by Bank America but 2 months later they sold my loan to green tree.
 
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Erik Sandstrom

Mortgage Expert - Call 1-619-379-8999
Staff member
Loan Safe Mortgage
Jan 14, 2011
2,100
181
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San Diego, California
www.loansreduced.com
Ah, I can only imagine what you're going through with GreenTree. I haven't heard the best things about them to be completely honest. If the guidelines do update, I'll keep you in mind. You never know what will happen day after day in the real estate finance industry.
 

ruchikag

LoanSafe Member
Nov 27, 2010
22
1
1
Hi Erick,
I filed for Ch 7. in Jan 09, GMAC (1st) modified my loan and I am still paying no lates, my 2nd (HELOC) never send any payments which was with WAMU, they didn't modify because of the 1st, when I contacted them after the 1st, they could'nt find my account, later I received a letter from LCS Financial to settle the lien if I like to. I didn't have the cash to settle and I am barely making the 1st. What is the best way to handle CHASE, I am worried that they might put me into higher payment and I might go back to where I started. The property is NOT under. can they foreclose, please advice. They sent me a letter recently to send voluntary payments if I want to.

Thank You.

Ruchika
 

Erik Sandstrom

Mortgage Expert - Call 1-619-379-8999
Staff member
Loan Safe Mortgage
Jan 14, 2011
2,100
181
63
San Diego, California
www.loansreduced.com
Hi Ruchika,
The 2nd can potentially proceed with foreclosure but typically it's the 1st mortgage that engages. If there is equity in the property you really never know.

I myself am not the best equipped to answer this type of question on how to deal with Chase. I know more about new home financing/different programs than negotiating with lenders. I'm honestly not sure whether or not it would be good to reach out to them and explain your situation or leave them alone.
 

nbtapia1

LoanSafe Member
Jun 3, 2009
165
5
18
USA
My loan is green tree/fannie mae and 17 months since received permanent loan modification without forgiveness on principal. I am divorced and my credit destroyed.How Could i qualify for HARP so i can remove his name out of the loan.
 

Erik Sandstrom

Mortgage Expert - Call 1-619-379-8999
Staff member
Loan Safe Mortgage
Jan 14, 2011
2,100
181
63
San Diego, California
www.loansreduced.com
Hi nbtabia,
For HARP we need to show that you have made at least 24 timely mortgage payments on time after the loan modification (guidelines recently updated). You would also have to qualify through other requirements such as credit and income requirements. It sounds like that time frame should be coming up soon. If you shoot me an e-mail we can schedule an appointment about a month before you're eligible and get the process started.
 
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bewilderedone

LoanSafe Member
Jul 21, 2009
5
0
1
Hi Erik, I am curious about HARP. In 2009 received a HAMP/Freddie Mac through Provident without ever being late on payments. There was no forgiveness of any principle. When they added escrow into the mix my payments were at 42%. Kept the HAMP going perfectly until 2011 when I ran into difficulties with husband's health. They wouldn't work with me at all to catch up on payments. Went into foreclosure which they let drag on for over a year even though they knew I was going to be in a financial position in the near future to pay all moneys owed and bring mortgage up to date. I did that a year ago......even after I had the funds they let it stew meanwhile adding more and more late fees and incredulous legal fees. Now I am due for a rate adjustment. In the middle of all this my husband passed away, so now I have a little less income than before. Do you think I would be eligible for HARP? I really want to get away from this company so I haven't even broached the subject with them. I am in Florida. Thanks
 

Erik Sandstrom

Mortgage Expert - Call 1-619-379-8999
Staff member
Loan Safe Mortgage
Jan 14, 2011
2,100
181
63
San Diego, California
www.loansreduced.com
Hi Bewideredone,
I'm sorry about what you've had to deal with, definitely sending positive vibes and prayers in your direction.

The modification shouldn't affect your eligibility to refinance through HARP as long as you meet the payment history requirements (typically 24 months payments on time post mod). You will still have to qualify through other means, ie: debt-to-income, FICO...etc.

Questions I would have:
How long have you been current at this time?
With you having less income, we would need to look at your debt-to-income ratio to make sure it meets guidelines.
What is your current rate on the mod and what will it be adjusted to?

I would love to hear more about your situation to see what we can do, feel free to reach out to me anytime.
 

D'Lion

LoanSafe Member
Apr 12, 2012
5
0
1
Hi! Is the 4 years waiting period from bankruptcy discharge still in effect? Or has this been waived by the latest HARP guidelines?

Thanks,
Di
 

Erik Sandstrom

Mortgage Expert - Call 1-619-379-8999
Staff member
Loan Safe Mortgage
Jan 14, 2011
2,100
181
63
San Diego, California
www.loansreduced.com
Hi D'Lion,
HARP still does follow typical Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac guidelines on bankruptcy so yes you are correct. Now there are two different parts of the program, one is called Same Servicer and the other Open Access. The Same servicer program would be through the mortgage company you currently make your payments to. They may be able to override the bankruptcy seasoning periods but I can't confirm or deny that because I work on the Open Access side.

The mortgage company may also know that the only direction you have to take is with them and I would only assume they would artificially increase the interest rate. I can't confirm or deny that suspicion.

If you would be so kind as to respond back with what you encounter it will only help our LoanSafe members that are in your same position. I'll double check on Monday also to see if anything has changed in regards to seasoning on BK but I am almost positive that it has not.
 

D'Lion

LoanSafe Member
Apr 12, 2012
5
0
1
Hi D'Lion,
HARP still does follow typical Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac guidelines on bankruptcy so yes you are correct. Now there are two different parts of the program, one is called Same Servicer and the other Open Access. The Same servicer program would be through the mortgage company you currently make your payments to. They may be able to override the bankruptcy seasoning periods but I can't confirm or deny that because I work on the Open Access side.

The mortgage company may also know that the only direction you have to take is with them and I would only assume they would artificially increase the interest rate. I can't confirm or deny that suspicion.

If you would be so kind as to respond back with what you encounter it will only help our LoanSafe members that are in your same position. I'll double check on Monday also to see if anything has changed in regards to seasoning on BK but I am almost positive that it has not.
Hi Erick, thanks for your reply. I went first to my servicer (Wells Fargo) but they required me to reaffirm my mortgage. This is why I started looking for other mortgage servicer. I tried Quicken Loans and another local mortgage company and both ran my application through Freddie Mac's underwriting system (not sure what it's called) and was again denied. They only mentioned that the HARP program is not available for me due to my current BK status. Quicken Loan and this other mortgage company advised me that, "due to changing HARP guidelines", they asked me to try my application again after couple of months to see if the program is finally available.

By the way, my BK will be on it's 4th year this coming July 2015. But I was eager to refinance soon rather than later. But I guess the seasoning period is still in effect. Have you experienced or seen success stories of other people who were able to refinance through HARP without waiting for this 4-year seasoning period.
 

Erik Sandstrom

Mortgage Expert - Call 1-619-379-8999
Staff member
Loan Safe Mortgage
Jan 14, 2011
2,100
181
63
San Diego, California
www.loansreduced.com
What you just mentioned in your post is where you run into problems. When you filed bankruptcy and included your home the current lender has problems refinancing that loan (why, I don't fully understand). I've been able to refinance loans that have been previously included in bankruptcy however you would still have to meet the bankruptcy seasoning periods.

When people have been successful with HARP overriding the bankruptcy seasoning periods, the only way that I know of would be with their current loan servicer.
 

gbcac

LoanSafe Member
May 3, 2009
10
2
1
Hi Ruth,
Thank you for reaching out to us here at LoanSafe, we appreciate you sharing your story as many others are in the same position. The HARP program does require that your loan is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to confirm your question. They were working on legislation to pass a program for borrowers that owe more than the home is worth but are NOT backed by Fannie & Freddie however it seems to have been stalled for quite some time. The program is called HARP 3.0, but again it hasn't been released yet and we don't know if it ever will be.

President Obama specifically stated that "Every responsible homeowner in America should be given the opportunity to refinance". However to this day we still don't have a program outside of loan modification that can help someone that is not backed by Fannie or Freddie.

If I were you, I would go back and check your original modification documents. Typically there is an increase in rate after 5 years and then it should cap out at a certain percentage rate (for most modifications) that is usually somewhere around 4.5%. In addition to that you may want to re-apply for a loan modification if the payment isn't affordable to you now.

If you would like to be added to my HARP 3.0 mailing list please feel free to shoot me an e-mail at [email protected] and I can keep you updated with any progress of the program.
 
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gbcac

LoanSafe Member
May 3, 2009
10
2
1
It has been 2 yrs since I completed short sale on one of my properties and looking for HARP refinance.Have credit score of 730 and LTV 70. Am I eligible for HARP refinance or still have to wait for 2 more years(seasoning period).Do not have any Late /miss payments on this property situated in California.
 
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Erik Sandstrom

Mortgage Expert - Call 1-619-379-8999
Staff member
Loan Safe Mortgage
Jan 14, 2011
2,100
181
63
San Diego, California
www.loansreduced.com
Harp does unfortunately fall under the Fannie/Freddie rules where the short sale would require 4 years before being eligible. Have you tried working with your current loan servicer? They may be able to override the short sale seasoning requirement. There's 2 different parts of the program "Open Access" where you work with anyone besides the company you make your payments to (this direction usually provides the best interest rates). There is also "Same Servicer" which has less documentation requirements but from what I've seen rates can be a little higher.
 
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frustratedincali

LoanSafe Member
Jan 24, 2015
68
3
8
Hi Ruth,
Thank you for reaching out to us here at LoanSafe, we appreciate you sharing your story as many others are in the same position. The HARP program does require that your loan is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to confirm your question. They were working on legislation to pass a program for borrowers that owe more than the home is worth but are NOT backed by Fannie & Freddie however it seems to have been stalled for quite some time. The program is called HARP 3.0, but again it hasn't been released yet and we don't know if it ever will be.

President Obama specifically stated that "Every responsible homeowner in America should be given the opportunity to refinance". However to this day we still don't have a program outside of loan modification that can help someone that is not backed by Fannie or Freddie.

If I were you, I would go back and check your original modification documents. Typically there is an increase in rate after 5 years and then it should cap out at a certain percentage rate (for most modifications) that is usually somewhere around 4.5%. In addition to that you may want to re-apply for a loan modification if the payment isn't affordable to you now.

If you would like to be added to my HARP 3.0 mailing list please feel free to shoot me an e-mail at [email protected] and I can keep you updated with any progress of the program.
Hi Eric,
I think the answer to my question is no, but I wanted to ask. I had a variation of an 80/20 loan which I used to buy a condo about 12 years ago in California. I didn't realize at the time that the second matured after 10 years and was due in total (it was an interest only loan). The loan at the time was with Indy Mac and they refused to allow me to continue to make payments and I could not refinance since the property was underwater. I could not refinance with the first as it is with Seterus which does not do financing. Two years later I am still current on the first and have never missed a payment. I am unfortunately still delinquent on the second which was sold to Specialized Loan Services. Property values are now rising and my property is now worth what I owe on it total including the late fees on the second. I wonder if there is any way to use HARP to refinance my first and second loan together. Obviously this looks like a high risk situation so I doubt traditional refinancing would work. If not, I'm just wondering if you have any suggestions of the best people to get advice from about my situation-lawyer, financial advisor, not sure who can help. I have been hoping to settle for a long time, but now that values are on the rise this it seems unlikely I could settle for what I can afford probably 15% at most. At this point, I think I need to do something before SLS decides to foreclose. Thank you.