The updated version of HARP 2.0 mortgage, released in March 2012 has made it easier for Tampa homeowners who are upside down on their property to refinance into today’s current rates. As long as the mortgage is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and recorded before June 1, 2009, Florida homeowners who couldn’t refinance due to the value of their home being below their mortgage balance, now have a legitimate option to reduce their monthly mortgage payment. Although the HARP 2.0 program has its own guidelines, lenders can have their rules (or “overlay”) requirements.
One of HARP 2.0’s characteristics is the elimination of loan-to-value restrictions. Historically, a lender would place a limit of say 90% loan-to-value before issuing a refinance mortgage. Because HARP 2.0 does not require an appraisal, this loan-to-value rule vanishes and homeowners with no equity can take advantage of today’s mortgage rates. Yet lenders may have their own overlay that will override the “no appraisal” rule inherent in HARP 2.0.
And while HARP 2.0 does not have minimum credit score requirements there are requirements of a timely mortgage payment history over the previous year.
HARP 2.0 means you can’t have any mortgage payment more than 30 days late in the most recent six months and no more than one 30 day late payment in the last 12 months. Additionally, debt ratio requirements for the HARP 2.0 program are relaxed compared with previous HARP programs.
However, lenders can impose their own overlay and instill a minimum credit score requirement as well as adhere to their own internal debt-to-income ratio guidelines. As with any conventional mortgage loan in today’s market a lender can always add their own qualification guidelines in the form of an overlay. This too applies to HARP 2.0 loans. In fact, some lenders will only issue a HARP 2.0 loan if they’re currently servicing the mortgage and still other lenders have refused to participate in HARP 2.0 altogether.
This means that it’s important to understand that just because you called your lender and they said you didn’t qualify for a HARP 2.0 loan doesn’t mean you can’t get qualified with another. When you work with a mortgage company that has access to all lenders who participate in the different versions of HARP 2.0 your chances of success are increased dramatically. If you have questions about the HARP program, please visit us here https://www.fivestarsmortgage.com/florida-harp-refinance
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