Make Harp 3.0 Happen

Advocating for The Expansion of the Home Affordable Refinance Program

Cries For Harp 3.0

Cries for HARP 3.0 – Volume II Veterans Edition

Cries for HARP 3.0 is a regular feature that focuses on families struggling with bloated mortgage payments that could be alleviated if HARP 3.0 ever comes to fruition. This week we profile three stories from underwater homeowners that are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces

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Danielle’s Story:
In 2005, I purchased our home for $245,000. I put 20% down but could only afford a 10-year interest only option mortgage at 5.75%. I am a disabled veteran and am a single mom of a daughter in college. It has been all uphill these last few years….

In 18 months I will have to start paying principle and my payment will go up almost $400 per month. I have tried to refinance to a lower interest rate numerous times but the property value has gone down despite improvements. I have since left my workplace. I have been waiting on Harp 3.0 FOREVER! I do not have a Fannie/Freddie mortgage so my hands have been tied and could not participate in Harp 2.0.

If the 30-year fixed is 6% by the time that congress votes on this, what is the point? I truly thought I would have been able to refinance by now… Without harp 3.0 at a decent rate this house is gone….I will be dropping the keys off at Bank of America.



Dave’s Story:
I’m a member of the US Air Force and bought a home in Shalimar, FL while stationed there in 2003. The property shot up in value significantly allowing me to take out a large HELOC that I used to invest in other real estate ventures. When the market crashed, I found myself upside down in nearly all my properties, but I faithfully made sure payments on all loans stayed current, and as such, I have a great credit score despite the negative equity.

I now have a first and second mortgage on the property, and they are not standard government mortgages, and they are both variable rate mortgages. This home is therefore not eligible for a HARP refinance.

While many mortgage negotiators encourage people to stop making payments on loans in order to negotiate from a “delinquent” status, I will never do that if I have the means to pay my bills. It’s not ethical. I have no late or missed payments on either loan, and I’ve always honored my debts. It’s a shame that banks will negotiate with delinquent payees, but they won’t negotiate with or appreciate those of us who have honorably paid our debts, despite the real estate crash.

I’ve been able to take advantage of a HARP refinance on one of my other properties, and that property now cashflows nicely, allowing the bank to continue to get their payments on time without putting me in a financially dangerous situation.

It would be nice to do the same thing on this property as well. My rent received does not come close to covering my mortgages, so if I find myself in a financial pinch in the future, I will have no choice but to foreclose. That wouldn’t do me, the bank, the economy, or my renters any good.

If I could take advantage of today’s low rates and be able to refinance with HARP 3 (or some similar program), the rent would likely cover the mortgages, and my finances, the bank’s investment, and my renter’s home would all be secure.



Gary’s Story:
My wife and I bought our modest 3 bedroom home 8 years ago for top dollar just before the market crashed. We live in Fredericksburg, VA an area that was hard hit by the mortgage collapse. Through no fault of our own we find ourselves to be underwater to the tune of 75-100K ! We have always paid our bills on tine and have an excellent credit rating. We are not qualified to refi simply because we are not Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac owned.

We don’t make much money because I have always worked in public service. I first served in the US Navy for 24 years and for the past 18 years I have taught public school. It has been over six years since I have received a pay raise. During that six years the cost of basic necessities such as gas for the car, food, heating our home etc.. have skyrocketed leaving my family with minimal disposable income.

I have watched and waited while others less qualified and less responsible than I have been allowed to refinance simply because they are Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac owned! What a slap in the face!

It is simply outrageous! We are financially responsible and I have faithfully served this country my entire adult life. To deny me the opportunity to refi simply because my mortgage is owned by WFMBS is immoral and just plain wrong.

Further it is financially irresponsible of our government. By refinancing I estimate that I could save approximately 500 dollars a month. This money would be used to do much needed repairs to my home such as replacing the windows, repair the deck, and replace the carpeting. These items have been neglected due to my diminished disposable income that I mentioned earlier.

In summary HARP 3 MUST be passed as soon as possible for people like us who did nothing wrong but are now severely underwater on their mortgages. Many of us feel betrayed by our government after serving the very country that government represents. Finally were we to increase our disposable income people like us could help jumpstart the economy by putting that money into home repairs or purchasing appliances taking vacations or whatever.

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DO THE RIGHT THING AND PASS HARP 3 NOW!!!


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Cries for HARP 3.0 – Volume I

Cries for HARP 3.0 is a regular feature that focuses on families struggling with bloated mortgage payments that could be alleviated if HARP 3.0 ever comes to fruition. This week we profile two stories from underwater homeowners in North Carolina

Ann’s Story:
In 2004 we purchased our home in Northern California, nearly at the peak of the market, one month before the birth of our second child. My husband (a teacher) and I (a nurse) searched far and wide to find a home that fit the criteria we hoped for: a house that was in the best neighborhood we could afford, had excellent schools and most importantly, offered a sense of community with neighbors who actually spoke to each other and looked out for one another. We found this in a modest 2 bed/2 bath 1100 sq ft house that needed work and priced at an astronomical (for us) $429,000. It was at the highest end of our price range but we knew we had found our home. We spent all the free time we had (a challenge with two very small children) cleaning up years of neglect and making this house our home. Since then we have become integral members of our community. Our neighbors have become family to us and our children. We contribute to our community in our respective positions. Because of the relatively small size our city, we have limited options for employment and have each retained our positions throughout our time in this home, committed to making a difference in this community. Since 2008 our home has lost nearly 25% in value. We have never missed or been late with a payment. We did not qualify for any of the government’s Making Homes Affordable programs because our mortgage in not a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Our loan is held by Wells Fargo, a company who is unwilling to work with us because it is a “mortgage backed security,” and does not qualify for any program.

Our family is very hopeful for HARP 3.0 to pass. I imagine there are many other hard working Americans who have not been able to take advantage of the current government mortgage refinancing programs. The small savings we could receive from being able to refinance mean a great deal to the well being of our family.


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Charles’ Story:
We purchased our home in Jan 2007 in order to move closer to our daughter and grandkids and this was just after we had lost our oldest Daughter. I went through a mortgage broker here in North Carolina and somehow we ended up with an 8.90% loan which I was the blame as I just wasn’t thinking straight and let someone take advantage of our situation. I tried 3 years ago to refinance and my loan balance was $91,000 and it was a real shock when my appraisal came in at $81,700. I’m 75 years old not in good health and still working in order to make a $850.00 a month house payment. I have followed Harp 3 for the past two years and prayed it would go through and was told it should have passed in Sept and now possibly Dec or Jan, but it seems just like a lot of talk. Our loan is a conventional loan so there is nowhere to turn. The system does not seem to work for someone that has worked all their life and pays their bills. Without Harp 3 we will lose our home next year.


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HARP 2.NO! – Tell Your Story

I soon will launch a new feature on makeharp3happen.com that will highlight the struggles of folks that do not currently qualify for the Home Affordable Refinance Program. If you have been denied refinancing under HARP 2.0 and are desperately hoping for HARP 3.0 to rectify your situation then I want to hear from you. I want to post your story on this site. This is your chance to be heard. If you would like to participate here is what you have to do. Comment on this post with your name and your email address and indicate your willingness to participate. I’ll create a profile for you on makeharp3happen.com with contributor posting privileges. Once you can login to the site click the “Posts” tab on the left, then click “Add New”. Compose a 500-1000 word post describing your situation. Include as much of the following as you can:

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  • Why you can’t use HARP now
  • Struggles caused by not being able to HARP
  • Why you need HARP 3.0. How much it could save/help you. Include some details on your mortgage. What are the terms? Do you also have a second mortgage?
  • Road blocks you’ve encountered such as your mortgage servicer, politicians, etc. Don’t be shy. I expect vitriol. Be pissed off.
  • At least some personal info. First name and city and state at a minimum. If you want to include contact info and dare your mortgage servicer or a certain politician to contact you then have at it. Bonus points and reweets if you include your Twitter handle.

The plan is to publish 1 new story each week. The best written ones will go to the front of the line. Have fun with it. As always, thank you for your support.

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