HARP 2.0 Loans with No Maximum LTV Now Available
HARP 2.0 Loans with No Maximum LTV are now available here exclusively for borrowers here in Florida. I’ll tell you that this represents an unprecedented opportunity for Florida mortgage holders who are looking to refinance underwater homes. As you’ve read in my previous HARP 2.0 article, the new HARP allows for unlimited loan-to-value on most HARP refinances. However, if you’re reading this post, it’s very likely that you’ve been told by many mortgage loan originators that banks have overlays that won’t go past the 125% Loan to Value (LTV) level. This puts many potential HARP 2.0 refinance candidates out of the running. Well… no longer! We now have unlimited LTV lending options for HARP 2.0 borrowers with 700 FICO scores and above.
About The HARP 2.0 Refinance Program
HARP is an acronym for Home Affordable Refinance Program. It is a government-led mortgage program for underwater homeowners. It was first launched in 2009 as part of an economic stimulus program. With HARP, homeowners with “lost equity” can refinance to current mortgage rates, lowering their monthly payments — often by a lot.
The typical HARP homeowner, after all, has a mortgage rate north of 6 percent. Today’s mortgage rates are much lower than that. When HARP was first implemented, it was intended to reach 7 million U.S. households, especially those in hard-hit states such as California, Arizona and Florida.
Restrictive guidelines, however, kept the government from reaching its goal. Fewer than 1 million HARP refinances were processed between 2009-2011.
It’s one of the reason why the government re-wrote its HARP program. The government wants HARP to reach more households, more quickly. Under HARP 2.0, underwriting guidelines have been relaxed:
- You can refinance with HARP with any participating lender — not just your current bank
- You can refinance a home with private mortgage insurance (PMI)
- You can remove a co-borrower from the mortgage if they no longer share your home
But perhaps the biggest change in HARP’s re-release is that the program provides for unlimited loan-to-value. No matter how far underwater you are, so long as you refinance into a fixed rate mortgage, you can use HARP. Your home could have lost half of its value from the peak, and HARP wouldn’t care. The problem, though, as too many people are finding out, is that banks care. Few banks are honoring the unlimited LTV feature of HARP 2.0.
Lenders Limiting HARP 2.0 Approvals
Have you been turned down for a HARP loan because of high loan-to-value? You’re not alone. Nearly all of the nation’s biggest banks have placed at least one LTV-limiting overlay on their respective HARP guidelines. Some big banks will allow up to 105% only. Some big banks will allow up to 125% only.
Some big banks will allow up to 125% but only if you’re a current mortgage customer. The banks make these rules for two reasons. First, to slow new loan applications — banks can only handle so much loan volume before their systems crack. And, second, loans over 125% are known to have a high default rate.
Few banks want that risk — even when the loans are guaranteed by the U.S. government.
But We Have Lenders Who Care!
Ready to refinance your underwater mortgage? Simply click on the big red Apply Online button or fill out the Rate Request form above and we’ll get you started. Remember, the only stipulation at this time is that you must have a 700 FICO score. As long as you meet the other HARP 2.0 Loan Requirements, you’re in good shape.