Friday, May 11, 2012

HARP 2.0 Changes Help Illinois Homeowners

Do you owe more than your home is worth?

Do you have a mortgage that is underwater in the greater Chicago Market?

Have you heard about the government’s HARP 2.0 program designed to help homeowners refinance their mortgage even if their current value is much less than their current mortgage?

Do you even know what HARP means?

Well, it is true! Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac seem to have finally gotten something right. If you have an underwater mortgage in Illinois, United Home Loans may be able to help. The new HARP 2.0 guidelines remove many of the restrictions imposed by the original HARP program.

By the way, HARP stands for Home Affordable Refinance Program which is part of the Making Home Affordable Plan introduced by the Obama administration. HARP 2.0 also goes by DU Refi +, Fannie Mae DU Refi Plus, Relief Refinance, Open Access and Freddie Mac Open Access. Believe it or not, all of these terms mean the same thing.

In order to be eligible for the HARP refinance program your loan must be backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and your current mortgage must have a securitization date prior to June 1, 2009. If you meet these two criteria, you may be HARP-eligible. If your mortgage is FHA or a jumbo mortgage, you are not HARP-eligible.

While Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac allow for unlimited negative equity positions for Illinois underwater mortgage loans (and all other states) many lenders impose additional restrictions.Most lenders want to see a maximum loan to value of 125% to 150% but will allow for higher loan to values if you have a second mortgage.

The first step is to determine if Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac own your loan. You can Google “Fannie Mae Loan Lookup” or "Freddie Mac Loan Lookup" to get started. Or, you can reach out to United Home Loans for assistance. Whether you own in one of the Chicago areas many suburbs such as Naperville, Downers Grove, Westmont, Elmhurst or you live in the city, we can help.

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