Make Harp 3.0 Happen

Advocating for The Expansion of the Home Affordable Refinance Program

New HARP 3.0 Refinance Bill Is Forthcoming From Senators Menendez and Boxer

Bloomberg News is reporting that Senators Robert Menendez and Barbara Boxer intend to introduce a new Bill later this week to address expanding the Home Affordable Refinance Program. The Bill will be very similar to The Responsible Homeowners Refinancing Act of 2012 which failed last year to make it out of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. The Bill would expand HARP by providing assurances to lenders that they will not have to absorb losses on refinanced mortgages that default. I look forward to reviewing the specifics of the Bill when they become public. The U.S.Treasury has also indicated that they may step in to facilitate refinancing for underwater homeowners if Congress fails to act soon.


Updated: January 30, 2013 — 12:23 am


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  1. When is this going to happen??? We are approved, good credit, available VA loan, etc. Because we are paying our bills and mortgage, which leaves barely enough for gas and food, we can’t get any help!!!!! It is not our fault that our mortgage is backed by greedy Bank of New York and administered by Bank of America, who are part of the problem that caused all this mess. We did not borrow up to the limit of what our home was worth but got stuck in a high interest Countrywide loan. Now because our house is worth less because of all the foreclosures in our area, mostly due to the auto industry finances, we are stuck paying an extra $800+ per month while the banks and auto companies got bailed out. My husband and I have worked our entire lives for what we have and are on the verge of losing it!!! Why isn’t there help for those of us working and helping ourselves??

    1. Unfortunately, If your loan isn’t held by Fannie or Freddie I don’t think this legislation will help you. However, the comments by Michael Stegman of the U.S. Treasury Department do look more promising for underwater homeowners with loans held by non-GSEs. The good news is at least it appears that policy makers are circling back to try to work on solutions. For months they sat idle on this. Frankly, I’m surprised that they are even giving it lip service once again. I figured they would use the recent positive news of the housing industry showing some signs of recovery as an excuse to punt on the issue and leave all of us underwater homeowners to wait it out until the real estate market fully recovers.

  2. Do I understand this correctly? Harp 3.0 will allow homeowners who are not Fannie and Freddie to possibly refinance or qualify for some help? I’m in the mortgage vortex, don’t have Fannie or Freddie and my loan was sold by Wells Fargo to some group they don’t even really know. Although they still service the loan…I’m underwater over $200K, do I wait? Do I walk? With the legislation forgiving the difference for one more year if I short sale, I don’t know how long I should wait for this….

    So frustrated!


    1. Julie, nothing is certain with HARP 3.0. In fact, changes to HARP of any kind may never happen. If HARP is expanded again what it will look like is still unknown. There have been a number of proposals and policy changes suggested over the past 8 or 9 months that may or may not be included in the next iteration of HARP. The Menendez-Boxer refinance bill likely will not help you as it is specific to GSE backed loans. However, the Merkley refinance bill will address privately held mortgages and therefore may help you. But getting either of these bills to pass though Congress is going to be very difficult. These same Senators are drafting essentially the same proposals that couldn’t make it out of committee for a vote on the Senate floor last year. And getting the GOP controlled House to pass it will be even harder than the Senate. In my opinion the Menendez-Boxer bill has a slightly less than 50-50 shot of getting passed. The Merkley bill is much less likely. The best advice I can give you on your personal situation is to seek the counsel of a trusted financial advisor, accountant, or lawyer. There are so many factors to consider and you owe it to yourself and your family to get the very best advice from a professional that can help you make an informed decision.

  3. My loan was securitized by FannieMae, I have never been not even one day late on my monthly payments. But, like most homeowners (GSE or not) I am seriously struggling. Why? The market value of my home has decreased, I have negative equity, my loan was securitized by FannieMae in May 2010. Consequently, I am not eligible for HARP 2.0 and with the negative equity, I was denied refinancing by three lenders, including my current lender. In fact, my current lender told me directly that they were not concerned about me taking my business anywhere else because no lender would refinance a negative equity mortgage unless I come up with the difference in cash.

    I am now on my knees praying for a HARP 3.0 or any kind of help could not come soon enough.

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