Make Harp 3.0 Happen

Advocating for The Expansion of the Home Affordable Refinance Program

National Outlook for The Rebuilding American Homeownership Pilot Program

I have received a lot of questions about when the Rebuilding American Homeownership that is being piloted in Oregon’s Multnomah County will be available to people in other areas of the country. As a refresher The Rebuilding American Homeownership Pilot Program (RAHPP) is a plan proposed by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley that would allow underwater homeowners additional refinance opportunities even if their mortgage is not owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The program is being piloted in Multnomah County which is in the Portland, Oregon area. It is being funded from U.S. Treasury “Hardest Hit” Funds that were awarded to Oregon. Many people have hopes that RAHPP can evolve into HARP 3.0 and become available nationwide. I hate to throw cold water on the hopes of the many people that really need this program to be available to them, but I think it is very unlikely that RAHPP gets a green light nation wide. The funds just aren’t available to support it nationally, and I’m highly skeptical that Congress would be able to pass legislation to fund the program for nationwide launch. I think a more likely scenario is certain states will follow Oregon’s lead and tap into existing funds such as the U.S. Treasury “Hardest Hit” fund (or potentially other federal funds that have been earmarked for economic stimulus) to deploy their own refinance programs. If the pilot program in Multnomah County works out well it is likely other states will use it to model the refinance programs they launch. The question becomes how grand can the scope of Merkley Mortgage be if it is rolled out by states using U.S. Treasury Funds? Only 18 states were awarded “Hardest Hit” Funds and it is likely that states would want to target specifically hard hit real estate markets if and when they launch programs similar to RAHPP. The bottom line is I think RHAPP will expand later this year to select areas in select states but I don’t believe it will even become available nationwide. If you live in a state that received “Hardest Hit” funds you probably have a better chance seeing some version of this program than states that did not receive funds from the Treasury. Here is a list of states that were awarded U.S Treasury funds: Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington DC.

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Updated: February 26, 2013 — 1:32 pm

4 Comments

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  1. Hardest Hit fund in Florida has huge problems

    Florida is one of the hardest hit states with millions in foreclosures and even millions more severely underwater
    yet they have not participated in all the HHF available programs.

    FL HHF only offers help to those who lost their job and owe less than 400k on their home.

    unlike Arizona for example that helps homewoners who are severely underwater with principal reductions and 2nd loan extinguishments.

    we need HARP 3.0 approved for thos Fannie Mae backed loans that have had their lender/services like Bnak of America refuse to help with a loan mod because you have a Fannie Mae loan.
    Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac becasue of Ed Demarco (head of FHFA) dit not allow them to partitipate in the National Mortgage Settlement where Millions of homeowners would have been able to receive assistance and save their homes.

    1. A lot of states that were awarded Hardest Hit Funds haven’t figured out the best way to use that money yet. Most of that money is still sitting there waiting to be used. The hope is that some of these states will use the RAH pilot program in Oregon as a template for releasing those funds. Florida is certainly a state that could benefit greatly if it were to use its Hardest Hit funds to implement some version of the Merkley Mortgage. If I were a Floridian I’d be badgering every elected official to implement the ongoing RAHPP pilot in Multonomah County Oregon with Florida’s Hardest Hit Funds.

  2. What agency of local govt do you contact to find out about the “hardest hit funds” and the criteria for eligibility?

  3. Every homeowner should have the same options as Freddie and Fannie. Why can’t the US government and the banks help all homeowners, instead of just some. Looks like it’s all about money, not fair play.

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