Last week one of the major topics for underwater homeowners surrounded changes to the federal Home Affordable Refinance Program, but as this is an in-depth subject, many consumers are still looking at what may available to them, and how this particular program could potentially help if they qualify for refinancing options. Yet, what consumers must remember when it comes to underwater refinancing through this specific plan is that there are not always opportunities available to refinance, as some mortgage servicers may have further requirements homeowners must meet, and homeowners might also be in a position where they must review their financial situation as well.
Obviously, many underwater homeowners are looking for more affordability, but some are also looking for principal reductions if they cannot get a refinancing opportunity on their home. Yet, homeowners do need to remember that they have to be current on their mortgage payments, as HARP is not a program that is going to be beneficial when it comes to helping homeowners who are delinquent on their mortgage or have missed payments, as this may require the homeowners explore alternative routes like the federal modification or a state plan is like those from the Hardest Hit Fund.
Yet, officials want homeowners to also remember that there are likely requirements related to their income, financial position, and their credit score, as today’s low interest rates that are being seen on average mortgages like a 30-year fixed rate home loan or a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage may bring about affordable rates for homeowners to refinance in this program or traditionally, but not all homeowners are going to necessarily qualify for low rates that are currently in place.
What homeowners have typically done when it comes to getting information about HARP is either consult a housing counselor like those made available from the Making Home Affordable initiative or a representative from their mortgage servicer, but there are some instances where homeowners who are aware of the requirements for this particular refinancing option may simply overlook certain aspects of the program that could hinder them from underwater mortgage assistance. While homeowners do have to meet certain qualifications, like being current on their mortgage, being in a good financial position, and even having a good credit score, it does need to be remembered that this program is not required of major financial institutions or banks that do participate in this particular initiative, but even for those who do offer this plan to homeowners, specific requirements may be in place as well that homeowners must meet before they can refinance.