WASHINGTON (6/26/14)--The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will take new steps to reach homeowners who could benefit from the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), the agency announced Wednesday.
Last year the FHFA launched a public awareness campaign across the country to reach eligible borrowers and encourage them to participate in HARP, a campaign that now includes town hall-style events in cities with the highest number of "in-the-money" borrowers yet to use a HARP refinance.
Borrowers are considered "in-the-money" if they meet the basic HARP eligibility requirements, have a remaining balance of $50,000 or more on their mortgage, have a remaining term on their mortgage greater than 10 years, and a mortgage interest rate of at least 1.5% higher than current market rates.
To be eligible for HARP, homeowners must:
The agency also unveiled an interactive online map indicating the number of estimated "in-the-money" borrowers eligible for HARP in every zip code, county and metropolitan statistical area in the country.
"We know that there are hundreds of thousands of borrowers who can still benefit from HARP and are essentially leaving money on the table by not taking advantage of the program," said Mel Watt, FHFA director.
Watt will join housing experts and community leaders in a town hall-style meeting at the Woodson Regional Library in Chicago July 8 to discuss the benefits of HARP and encourage the approximately 36,000 currently eligible Chicago residents to participate in the program.
The FHFA estimates that these borrowers could save $2,000 to $3,000 each year by refinancing their mortgage.
The event is geared to local community and civic leaders who can share information about HARP with homeowners in the Chicago area. Event attendees will receive a dedicated toolkit specific to Chicago describing in greater detail the elements of HARP and how borrowers stand to benefit from the program.
FHFA will announce future HARP events in the coming weeks.
Use the resource link below for more information.