April 11th, 2013 4:27 PM by Preston Ware
Today 4-11-2013 our government announced that the HARP program is extended until Dec 31, 2015. That is fine but they fell short of doing what we were hoping for them to do. We were hoping for expanded guidelines that allowed for non-Fannie-Freddie customers to take advantage of the program. Also I have spoken to so many that fall outside of the 6-30-2009 cutoff date. Many of those people have rates in the low to middle 5's and even sixes but cannot refinance. Hopefully there will be some adjustment to these parameters as the year goes on.
The program, which will now expire on December 31, 2015, has assisted more than 2.2 million borrowers to refinance since its inception in April 2009, however nearly half of those homeowners have accessed the program in the last 15 months. In the fall of 2011 several revisions to the program were instituted including elimination of any cap on the loan-to-value of the resulting loan. Since then use of the program has skyrocketed and HARP loans have represented around one quarter of GSE refinancing for most of 2012.
There is still a gigantic segment of the population that is waiting to take advantage of this program. It offers an excellent incentive for our economy by lowering borrowing costs for millions of Americans. Saving $200 to $500 every month, new money is injected into the economy or used to pay down debts or increase savings.