Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) Changes
Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced enhancements to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), and extended the program until Dec. 31, 2013. The changes are designed to expand the number of borrowers with little or negative equity who can qualify for refinancing. It is possible you will receive calls from customers inquiring about their eligibility for the program. Wells Fargo will be working as quickly as possible to have the changes in place and available to borrowers. However, we will not be able to determine when we will be able to offer the program enhancements until we receive the specific program guidelines – expected in mid-November – and have the chance to interpret them and make the appropriate process and potential systems changes.
Here are talking points you can use if you receive inquiries:
· The Home Affordable Refinance Program allows homeowners in good payment standing, whose loans are owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, to refinance and take advantage of today’s low interest rates.
· The program is especially helpful for customers who cannot obtain a standard refinance because their property value has declined.
· The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced enhancements to this program today that will allow more customers to qualify.
· Only borrowers with a loan sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac before May 31, 2009 are eligible to refinance through HARP. In addition, borrowers who already have refinanced through HARP are not eligible to refinance through the program again.
· Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plan to send the program guidelines required to offer this program to all lenders in mid-November. When we receive them, we will work quickly to make the changes required to support the implementation, including any potential changes to our systems in order to offer the program to our customers as soon as possible.
· It will take some time until the new HARP features will be available through Wells Fargo.
In the meantime, the current Home Affordable Refinance Program remains available for customers who qualify and borrowers who aren’t eligible for HARP may qualify for other refinancing options.