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11/10/11

Changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program

The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) will allow more homeowners who owe more than their home is worth to refinance their mortgages to lower rates.  Eligible homeowners should take advantage of this free opportunity, but should beware of foreclosure rescue scammers who want payment in exchange for helping the homeowner access HARP or any other foreclosure assistance program.

Under the new HARP, now eligible homeowners who are "underwater" or owe more than 125% of their home's value can take advantage of today's low interest rates to reduce their payments.  Homeowners who are considering a HARP refinance should first find out if their mortgage is owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.  These are the only types of mortgages that can be refinanced under HARP.  To find out if your mortgage is owned by one of these companies, use the following direct links to their websites:

Freddie Mac       Fannie Mae

If your mortgage is owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, then talk to your mortgage lender.  If you would like an advocate, consult a HUD-approved housing counseling agency.  These are the best people to help you refinance your mortgage under HARP - and almost always at no cost. 

For more information on the changes to HARP, click here.

To locate a HUD-approved housing counseling agency that can assist you for FREEclick here, or call the Homeowners’ HOPE hotline, at 1-888-995-HOPE.

For a list of warning signs and ways you can avoid loan scams, click here.

For 6 Things You Should Know to Spot and Avoid Scams, click here.