Troubled Homeowners Get A Lifeline, POTUS To Announce Changes To HARP

Source: Les Christie / CNN Money

NEW YORK – President Obama will announce changes in the government’s Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) on Monday, making it easier for homeowners to capitalize on current low-interest rates by refinancing their old, high-interest mortgages.

More than 890,000 Americans have already utilized the HARP program to reduce monthly mortgage payments but many more have not. One reason: The current rules do not permit severely underwater borrowers to participate.

The new rules will allow homeowners who owe more than 125% of the market value of their homes — $125,000 in mortgage balance on a home worth less than $100,000, for example — to get new loans.

“We know there are many homeowners who are eligible to refinance under HARP and those are the borrowers we want to reach,” said Edward DeMarco, acting director for the FHFA.

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