The Philadelphia Real Estate Blog


HARP - A Personal Thank YOU

HARP - A Personal Thank You


As many may know, I am not a big fan of Government programs nor big banks.  However, one program that provides both HARP - REFI savingsrelief and immediate stimulus to the economy now is the HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) which allows both homeowners and investors to REFI their loans to take advantage of the low interest rates.   With a traditional REFI it can be very difficult with all of the cumbersome issues such as appraisals or if you own multiple properties.  HARP streamlines the process to allow the end goal to happen.


I just completed a HARP REFI on one of my investment properties where by lowering my interest rate, my monthly mortgage payment will go down from about $2,000 a month to $1,500 a month.  Woo hoo!  That extra $500 a month savings will be instant stimulus to the economy which is the main reason I am a huge proponent for this program as it provides direct relief to individuals who are doing the right thing (paying their mortgage on time). 


And I have one more HARP REFI in the pipeline where the monthly savings will be almost as much!  For me, that is some great savings!  Both loans were with Bank of America.  I contacted them directly to initiate the process.  Thus, if you have a potential loan that can qualify for HARP, the easiest and simplest way to get started is to contact your lender directly.


What are the qualifications for HARP?

  1. You must be able to make your mortgage payments moving forward.

  2. It doesn’t matter what you owe or how upside-down you are.

  3. You must have a fair credit score.

  4. Subject Property can be your owner occupied residence OR a rental property.

  5. Property can be a 1-4 unit property.

  6. Your Loan Must be owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac

  7. Be on time with your mortgage payments for the last 6 months. You are allowed one 30 day late period in the previous months 7-12.

  8. Be employed for at least the last 12 months or, if Self-Employed, report sufficient income on your tax returns (No “Stated Income or No-Doc Loans”).

For more info, visit HARP REFI Program .


Do you have any personal experience with HARP or will you be looking into this now?

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Comment balloon 21 commentsThe Somers Team • December 22 2012 11:58AM


That is great savings indeed, and a good heads up for those considering a HARP refi.

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) over 7 years ago

I also took advantage of this program a couple of months ago on my personal home. My savings is a whopping $900 a month, $500 of that is in interest. I contacted my lender, Wells Fargo, directly and the process only took three weeks and was all done through the mail with no closing costs. The savings are hard to beat.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 7 years ago

Jane -  It is such a great opportunity for those homeowners and investors who are underwater on their properties.  A lot of the people who did 100 percent financing do not qualify though as most of those are not owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.


Tammie - Wowsa !  That is some great savings !  That is what I am talking about... instant and immediate stimulus to you, which is instant and immediate stimulus to the economy.  This is REAL stimulus unlike the majority of the Federal Govt stimulus programs which taxpayers rarely see nor realize.


Posted by The Somers Team, Delivering Real Estate Happiness (The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia) over 7 years ago

To bad it only applies to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac owned mortgages... another half measure...

Posted by Phyllis Lerner call 914.438.7556, William Raveis Legends Realty Group (William Raveis Legends Realty Group LLC) over 7 years ago

Erica - It would be impossible for me to have REFIed this property any other way Erica as I own too much real estate : )

Phyillis - It would be a huge boon to the economy if other loans could qualify for a program like this, even if it was purely for owner occupants.   There were so many houses purchased with 100 percent financing (subprime) where those folks are simply stuck.

Posted by The Somers Team, Delivering Real Estate Happiness (The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia) over 7 years ago

Cha-ching to you & yours! It's Xmas for sure at your house. It was just so eerie, I was just reading this a second before I logged into AR & I saw your post.  It's great someone has good news about this stuff for a change!  I'm passing this around then.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 7 years ago

Lyn - How cool is that ?  Thanks for passing it around. 

Posted by The Somers Team, Delivering Real Estate Happiness (The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia) over 7 years ago

I am glad to see that this program is of benefit to folks.  Thanks for sharing this information.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 7 years ago

COngrats on the very first success story I have heard this year for HARP.  I am trying to help a customer avoid short sale by guiding him thru HARP as well, but so far Chase has shot him down. 

Posted by Florida Tolbert Team Keller Williams Advantage, Keller Williams Land Division Specialist (Keller Williams Advantage III Realty in Lake Nona) over 7 years ago

I am really glad for your success in getting this achieved.  Over the past several years, I have sent a number of my friends and family to some of these programs, in hopes they would acquire the outcome you have.  For some it has been a blessing, for others - not so much.  But it is success stories like your's, that has me continuing to try.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 7 years ago
It can be a really great savings for those who qualify. Sounds like you got a great deal.
Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) over 7 years ago

I think HARP was/is a great program.  It will go right toward stimulus, and has saved many a homeowner from default.  It was a worthwhile program.

Posted by Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI, REALTOR and Broker (Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates) over 7 years ago

A thousand dollars in savings per month is true stimulus. Congrats on working through the system.  Happy Holidays!

Posted by Anne M. Costello (Weidel Realtors) over 7 years ago

Good for you, Chris!  I wasn't aware that rental properties could be done under this as well.  Hope you both have a wonderful holiday and great start to 2013!

Posted by Jason Sardi, Your Agent for Life (Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina) over 7 years ago

Being able to do a HARP REFI on an investment property is a blesshing indeed.   Am looking forward to the next one closing as well !

Posted by The Somers Team, Delivering Real Estate Happiness (The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia) over 7 years ago

Christopher and Stephanie, I also didn't know this would apply to rental properties. Thanks for the info.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 7 years ago

Forgot to ask how long the process took?

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 7 years ago

HARP can be a great program, but I agree with those above who feel it would be even more effective if it applied to more borrowers.  You can take a HARP-eligible borrower, look at all the qualifying criteria and then apply them to an owner who happens to not have a loan backed by Fannie or Freddie (or whose loan was originated after June 1, 2009).  Even though the savings and benefits would help in the exact same fashion, through no fault of his/her own, this borrower cannot refinance.

This is a case of what's good for the goose not being available to the gander and that's unfortunate.  Still, I accept this about HARP and work with those I can.  No sense criticizing the whole program to the detriment of all.

Posted by Rob Spinosa, SVP of Mortgage Lending, Marin County (Guaranteed Rate, Marin County, CA) over 7 years ago

Great information and I will be passing it on thank you !!! 

Posted by Dave Sullivan, Michigan Realtor with an investor viewpoint (Real Estate One) over 7 years ago

It would be an even better program if it was for other than Fannie and Freddie, but at least there's a segment that can catch a break

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 7 years ago

Lyn - Mine took a tad over 3 months and the other one is around the 3.5 month mark.  I have heard other folks get theirs done in 4 to 6 weeks.   Keep in mind, both of mine are going through Bank of America : )

Obviously, the length of time did not matter to me, but more so that it got done.  So my fingers are crossed with the other one that is pending.


Posted by The Somers Team, Delivering Real Estate Happiness (The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia) over 7 years ago