Lenders across the U.S. were waiting for today’s release of more details on HARP 2, the government’s revised Home Affordable Refinance Program for underwater homeowners. Here’s what consumers need to know as of this afternoon:
-Federal Housing Finance Agency acting director Edward DeMarco’s Senate testimony today covered broad housing issues and had a small section on HARP 2 with no new information following FHFA’s October 24 release.
-HARP guidance for lenders were released by Fannie and Freddie this afternoon. Lenders must now analyze their rate pricing and securitization risk, and decide on their own HARP 2 guidelines accordingly.
-Put another way, lenders don’t take Fannie/Freddie guidance verbatim. Most lenders interpret and add their own rate pricing and/or loan qualifying parameters on top of Fannie/Freddie guidelines before offering products to consumers. That will take another 1-3 weeks depending on lender.
-Meantime, if you’re an underwater homeowner waiting to lock into one of these HARP refi loans, SEE IF YOU QUALIFY HERE then contact your lender to provide your full profile and documentation so you can be ready when your lender rolls out the program and can officially quote rates.
As I get more lender feedback on Fannie and Freddie guides released today, I’ll comment further.