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(12,291 posts)
Thu Jan 9, 2014, 11:51 AM Jan 2014

Has anyone gotten a HARP Mortage?

Our interest rate on our mortgage is 7 percent we have had it 12 years now. Because of foreclosures in our neighborhood our house value has gone down the toilet. Is it worth it to do a HARP? What are the closing costs associated with one of these loans.

Our bank didn't seem to want to talk about HARP they wanted to talk about a refinance that would only drop our rate a point, making it not worth it to us. The HARP is showing a 4.5 rate which would make it worth it to us to do it.

Thanks for any help.

17 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Has anyone gotten a HARP Mortage? (Original Post) redstatebluegirl Jan 2014 OP
My friend had an upside down loan Faux pas Jan 2014 #1
That is what I have heard from people. We are going for it. redstatebluegirl Jan 2014 #2
Good for you! Faux pas Jan 2014 #4
I think the lenders don't make much money from the HARP loans Lex Jan 2014 #3
I lokked into it, but without the equity problems a conventional refi was easier bhikkhu Jan 2014 #5
HARPs are still refinances whether you do it through the original lender or another source. bluesbassman Jan 2014 #6
Yes, we saved a small fortune Holly_Hobby Jan 2014 #7
Do you have a MERS mortgage? ms.smiler Jan 2014 #8
I will check and see, thanks for the information. redstatebluegirl Jan 2014 #11
FWIW, here is why I am not re-financing... dixiegrrrrl Jan 2014 #16
I just got one! My old interest rate was 6.6 and now it's 4.5! CTyankee Jan 2014 #9
You may have to find a new lender. You dont have to stay with the same bank. davidn3600 Jan 2014 #10
I did cordelia Jan 2014 #12
Yes. lumberjack_jeff Jan 2014 #13
Yes - it knocked $500 off our mortgage. nt hack89 Jan 2014 #14
In the middle of a HARP refi ga_girl Jan 2014 #15
HARP, or HAMP? dixiegrrrrl Jan 2014 #17

Faux pas

(14,949 posts)
1. My friend had an upside down loan
Thu Jan 9, 2014, 12:15 PM
Jan 2014

and (with my nagging encouragement) got a HARP loan. Her payment went from $1200 a month to $700 and something a month. She's thrilled silly.

Good luck!


(34,108 posts)
3. I think the lenders don't make much money from the HARP loans
Thu Jan 9, 2014, 12:26 PM
Jan 2014

so you have to hammer them that you want to do HARP. They will try desperately to talk you into other options (that make them more money in fees and such).


(10,740 posts)
5. I lokked into it, but without the equity problems a conventional refi was easier
Thu Jan 9, 2014, 12:34 PM
Jan 2014

we got our 4.8% first and our 6.5% second down to one 3% loan, which makes a huge difference in the monthly expense, and in the net that goes to principle.

I did talk my brother into getting a HARP loan last year, as his house was upside-down. He didn't think he'd qualify, but it took him just about three months to get it all done. He went through a regular bank in California, and its saved him a fortune in interest.


(19,482 posts)
6. HARPs are still refinances whether you do it through the original lender or another source.
Thu Jan 9, 2014, 12:48 PM
Jan 2014

You will pay all applicable closing costs and have to income/debt qualify for the new payment. Note that the so-called "no-cost" loan is something of a misnomer. The actual closing costs from third parties (title, appraisal, etc.) always have to be paid and where a lender is saying there is "no cost" they are generally using a slightly higher interest rate to the borrower and receiving "rebate" pricing that is used to offset the cost. One should look at the potential long term monthly payment increase compared to paying the costs out of pocket or including them in the new loan. On Freddie Mac HARPs the limit for cash out to use for closing costs is 5% or $5,000.

At 7% you should be able to find a lender that will offer you a significant savings.

One final point. As I indicated earlier, one must "requalify" for the new loan. In cases where there is no requalifying, these are internal loan modifications done by the original lender and generally are not as favorable as obtaining a new loan under the HARP guidelines.

Best of luck to you! 😊


(3,033 posts)
7. Yes, we saved a small fortune
Thu Jan 9, 2014, 12:58 PM
Jan 2014

From 8.5% to 3.25%. Just had to sign the app, no taxes or bank records needed. No closing cost. I literally made one phone call to our bank, waited for the app in my email the same day, printed it and signed it, faxed it back. Closing 3 weeks later. Done.


(551 posts)
8. Do you have a MERS mortgage?
Thu Jan 9, 2014, 04:11 PM
Jan 2014

If you have a non-MERS mortgage, do you know if it was subsequently entered into the MERS system and converted from a traditional mortgage to a securitized mortgage?

Do you understand how securitized mortgages differ from traditional mortgages?

Do you know that Fannie Mae is a REMIC, Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit?

Do you know that Fannie Mae’s Servicing Guide and instructions and practices conflicts with state law across the nation?

If you are among the 15% or so of homeowners that aren’t yet tangled up in a securitized mortgage, do you really want to get involved in such a mortgage?

If your loan has already been securitized, do you understand how securities fraud is directly connected to your loan and property Title?

What documents have been filed in your land records? Are they valid documents? Does any of that information in your land records conflict with information from these databases?


The first 7 digits of your MIN number, if you have one, will identify the company that obtained your mortgage and entered it into the MERS database.


Have you checked the Fannie Mae look up tool to see if they own your loan?


I suggest you first determine if you have a traditional mortgage or a securitized mortgage before considering refinancing.

If I had a traditional mortgage, I wouldn’t change a thing. I do have a securitized mortgage and rather than refinance, I sued to clear my property Title. It makes no sense to me to write checks when I cash one.


(60,010 posts)
16. FWIW, here is why I am not re-financing...
Thu Jan 9, 2014, 08:15 PM
Jan 2014

8 years of payments have reduced the monthly interest portion to the point where we are seeing our mortgage amount decrease faster and faster.
If I got a re-fi, I would have to start all over again with years of mostly interest payments, very low equity amount,especisally if I were making lower payments than I do now.

Lenders know that most people buy cars and houses with one thing in mind: how much is the monthly payment.
What is not discussed is how much is the total interest over time.
There a lot of payment/interest calulators on the net.

The other thing I did with our mortgage was to insist on a NO pre-payment penalty, so that in the first 5 years I added extra payment to the principal, whcih reduced the principal faster, which reduces the total amount of interest over time.
And NO escrow, which prevent the lender from tacking on extra charges. We pay our own insurance.
Those terms are worth a pile of money to me, so re-fi is not an option for now.
I doubt very much that I could get those terms today, but guess who was willing to give me those terms in
cause I told them I would probably be re-financing with them in a few years.

Go ahead...take a guess......



(64,188 posts)
9. I just got one! My old interest rate was 6.6 and now it's 4.5!
Thu Jan 9, 2014, 04:16 PM
Jan 2014

We paid NO closing costs. We were not upside down on our mortgage, thankfully. And we do have excellent credit, which I understand was a big qualifying factor.

There was a bit of a rush to get all the paperwork in, but we didn't have to have a home inspection. It wasn't so bad an experience.

We are very pleased. It's a good deal.


(2,174 posts)
12. I did
Thu Jan 9, 2014, 05:00 PM
Jan 2014

No fuss, no muss - closing took place within 3 weeks. I was shocked at how smoothly the process was.

I wanted to refinance to a 15 year fixed, but they would only write a 20 year fixed.

Went from 6.35 to 3.99, no closing costs.

Best of luck to you!



(33,224 posts)
13. Yes.
Thu Jan 9, 2014, 05:02 PM
Jan 2014

we refinanced in 2009 or so through our community bank. I've heard many times that the big banks won't do them.


(189 posts)
15. In the middle of a HARP refi
Thu Jan 9, 2014, 05:56 PM
Jan 2014

Going from 5.875 to 4.175 (4.3 APR). Received a call out of the blue from a rep from Chase who offered a 15 yr fixed loan with no closing cost, $400 application fee. My current loan just hit 5 years into a 20, so there's no lengthening or shortening of the loan. Minor decrease in monthly payment, but a nice decrease in total interest.

Some institutions do HARP, some don't.


(60,010 posts)
17. HARP, or HAMP?
Thu Jan 9, 2014, 08:32 PM
Jan 2014

I have heard of the Home Again Mortgage Program, sponsored by the Feds.
Some people say it is an effort to start another bubble,

some people say they are trying to re-finance to cover up the illegal paperwork of previous mortgages
( which makes sense, from a crooked bank point of view)

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