Make Harp 3.0 Happen

Advocating for The Expansion of the Home Affordable Refinance Program

About Us

My name is Marcus, and I am an underwater homeowner advocating for the expansion of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). This is my story. In 2007 my wife Rosalie and I bought a three story townhome in Southern New Jersey. Shortly after moving in, my wife began developing severe back problems. With our two income household now down to just one income, keeping up with payments became a chore. Worse yet,  the design of our home became increasingly difficult for my wife’s worsening condition. We looked into selling so we could move to a new home more suited for her. However, the financial crisis that led to the real estate collapse had just started to sink in, and we were soon too far underwater on our mortgage for selling to be feasible. Despite our woes, we never missed a payment on anything. In early 2009 when the original HARP program was made public, I immediately called Bank of America to see if I qualified. Luckily I did qualify, and it allowed me to refinance down to a rate of 5.37%. The savings in my mortgage payment coupled with a promotion in my career stabilized our finances, but it did nothing to remedy the inconvenience our home was for my wife. The real estate crash was still in the early stages. My home continued to plummet in value throughout all of 2010 and 2011. It became apparent that my wife and I would be trapped in a home ill-suited for her needs for the foreseeable future. Our options are limited. I don’t want to ruin my credit by walking away from my mortgage. I keep my obligations. I don’t want any handouts. I just want to fix our situation as quickly as possible, and the quickest way for me to do that would be to take advantage of today’s extremely low mortgage rates and refinance into a shorter term loan. I want to save cash and build equity quickly so I can sell this house and move my family to a home more suited for my wife’s needs. Unfortunately, that isn’t permitted under the current limitations of HARP set by Edward DeMarco, The Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. I have impeccable credit with FICO scores in the high 700s  but I miss the arbitrarily set cutoff date for eligibility. 2012 brought promises from the Obama Administration of HARP expansion that would have helped me. However, those efforts fizzled when proposed Bills died in committee at the end of The 112th Congress. With the elections now over, the White House seems to have shifted its attention to other issues such as the debt ceiling and gun control. Frustrated with the lack of progress, I have spearheaded an effort to mobilize underwater homeowners like myself by circulating a “We the People” petition to raise awareness and hopefully encourage Washington to make this a priority once again. You can view and sign the petition here:


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