(Source: Fannie Mae) WASHINGTON, DC – Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTC) announced today that it has helped more than two million American households save money, reduce their interest rates, move into more stable loans or shorten their loan terms by refinancing their mortgages under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). By refinancing through HARP, those households have been able to save an average of nearly $200 a month since the program’s inception in 2009.

Harp mortgage

“We have worked to help as many homeowners as possible,” said Andrew Bon Salle, executive vice president, single family business, Fannie Mae. “HARP gives homeowners an opportunity to refinance their home even if the value of the property has declined significantly. This way they can better manage their financial situations and continue to support their families. The two million household milestone is one we’re proud of at Fannie Mae, but our work is not done. Homeowners who have loans from before 2009 and haven’t refinanced should contact a lender immediately to determine their options.”

The U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) created the HARP program in 2009 amid the economic crisis that left many Americans owing more on their mortgages than their homes were worth. Many homeowners saw their loan-to-value ratios rise above 100 percent, making them ineligible for traditional refinancing options. HARP was created to give homeowners who are current on their payments but have little or no equity in their home, the opportunity to refinance into a more affordable and stable mortgage at lower, fixed interest rates or into a mortgage with a shorter term.

Last year, the HARP program was extended through the end of 2016, giving homeowners who have not refinanced additional time to take advantage of lower mortgage rates. Fannie Mae estimates that tens of thousands of households across the U.S. could still be eligible to refinance under HARP.

“We’ve helped a half million families take advantage of low rates through HARP,” said Steve Hemperly, head of mortgage originations at Chase. “We’ve partnered closely with Fannie Mae and others to proactively reach out to homeowners and educate them on the unique benefits of HARP.”

“For those considering home refinancing, a HARP loan is an absolute homerun option,” said Bob Walters, chief economist, Quicken Loans. “Even if you’ve previously applied and been turned down, it’s worth exploring again as the program and eligibility guidelines have evolved over the years. The time to act is now, especially while rates remain low. Every day we’re working with homeowners to lower monthly payments, in turn helping them save money and improve their finances.”

If you are interested in applying for a HARP loan, here are some resources about eligibility and other details:

SOURCE: FANNIE MAE

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Erik Sandstrom
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