HARP Extended Through 2018

August 23, 2017

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that it is extending HARP, a popular government refinancing program, through Dec. 31, 2018. The Home Affordable Refinance Program was to expire on Sept. 30. While the FHFA has once again extended the deadline by another 15 months, this time it plans to introduce a new loan program to eventually take HARP's place.

HARP, which was introduced during the housing crisis, helps homeowners refinance their mortgages when they may be current on their mortgage payments but have little to no equity in their homes. Through HARP, more than 3.4 million homeowners have refinanced their mortgages. The FHFA says that more than 143,000 homeowners could still benefit from HARP.

The FHFA extended HARP in order to “create a bridge” to a new refinancing product that it plans to launch in October. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are to implement a new streamlined refinance offering that is aimed at borrowers with high loan-to-value ratios.  The High LTV Streamlined Refinance Program would provide liquidity for borrowers who are current on their mortgage but unable to refinance because their loans have LTV ratios that exceed Fannie and Freddie’s maximum limits. The program—which the FHFA says will “appropriately balance continuing to offer assistance to underwater borrowers with protecting taxpayers”—will be available for loans originated on or after Oct. 1.

Source: Federal Housing Finance Agency