There was no hurricane that blew through your neighborhood and flooded your home, yet you are frantic because you are “underwater” in your mortgage payments. This is due to either a moribund economy that’s remained stubbornly resistant to any governmental formula prescribed to improve the health of the economy; you are underemployed or unemployed due to layoffs; and/or the value of your home is now lower than the amount of the mortgage loan and the lender refuses to help you refinance the terms.
The federal government made announcements that is has revised the Home Affordable Refinance Program [HARP] that will, according to the Washington Post, ““allow many more struggling borrowers to refinance their mortgages at today’s ultra-low rates, reducing monthly payments for some homeowners and potentially providing a modest boost to the economy.”
How will this program help struggling black families retain their homes?
1. The changes cut fees for borrowers who want to refinance into short-term mortgages and some other borrowers. This is usually a killer on normal circumstances.
2. HARP also eliminates a cap that prevented “underwater” borrowers who owe more than 125 percent of what their property is worth from accessing the program, another normally fatal blow to desperate families.
3. Ensure that the first step borrowers should take is to see whether their mortgages are owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which did on an inordinate number of American homes across the country. If so, borrowers should contact lenders that offer HARP refinances. The government said it will publish final changes in November. According to a fact sheet on the program, the timing will vary by lender.
— terry shropshire