WASHINGTON (7/31/14)--Noting that Atlanta is one of the cities with the highest number of borrowers who could benefit from a federal mortgage refinancing program, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Wednesday announced an outreach event there for Aug. 14. It is intended to reach remaining homeowners who could benefit from the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).
Atlantans have a lot of company in not accessing possible refinancing resources. According to a recently released study, close to one in five people who could have benefited by refinancing their mortgage after the financial crisis didn't do it. And $11,500 was the median amount of money they lost by sticking with their old loan, the study found (Bloomberg Businessweek July 28). The study was authored by Benjamin Keys of the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy, Devin Pope of Chicago's Booth School of Business, and Jaren Pope of Brigham Young University. (See resource link for more on this study.)
The FHFA said in its release that the HARP event will highlight the program's benefits and provide tools to help community leaders encourage the more-than 34,000 Atlanta area residents still eligible to participate in the program, which wraps up Dec. 31, 2015. The agency estimates that eligible borrowers could save as much as $2,000 each per year by refinancing.
FHFA and the U.S. Department of the Treasury introduced HARP in early 2009 and according to those program administrators more than 3.1 million homeowners have used it to refinance their home loans.