Make Harp 3.0 Happen

Advocating for The Expansion of the Home Affordable Refinance Program

Treasury Adviser Wants HARP 3.0 for Non-GSEs, But Opposes Extending Cutoff Date

Michael Stegman of the U.S. Treasury, and a trusted housing adviser to the Obama Administration, delivered a speech at an industry conference this week in which he reiterated his support for expanding HARP for non-Fannie and non-Freddie loans.

“We must not forget about the inability of performing underwater borrowers whose loans are held in private label security trusts to access refinancing”

-Michael Stegman, U.S. Treasury Housing Adviser

Stegman has been a proponent of a HARP-like program for Non-GSEs since he joined the Treasury. He has pleaded with Congress to pass a solution and has spoken in support of the “Merkley Mortgage”. Last year he suggested the Treasury would consider a Plan B implementation without Congressional approval. In his speech this week he backed off of those remarks.

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However, not all underwater homeowners should consider Michael Stegman an ally. Stegman stated he opposes changing the May 31, 2009 HARP eligibility cutoff date. In fact, he completely downplayed the importance of the date.

“Very few homeowners whose loans were originated after the cut-off date are underwater”, said Stegman.

I’m not sure where Mr. Stegman gets his data, but I beg to differ. If he read some of the comments left by people on makeharp3happen.com he might change his mind.
 

This is what is so incredibly frustrating about HARP and HARP 3.0 proposals. Bureaucrats keep piecemealing solutions. It is time to stop cherry picking winners and losers. Underwater homeowners deserve a comprehensive home refinance solution that leaves no one behind.
 

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Updated: January 25, 2014 — 3:13 pm

10 Comments

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  1. WOW,

    I am deeply saddened by Michael Stegman’s perspectives. Unfortunately, the voices of people most affected by this housing crisis are not reaching the decision makers’s ears. The plies of Consumers who are paying hefty taxes and interest rates seem to be falling into deaf ears because there are robust wealth to be gained from our continued struggles, unfortunately.

  2. I’ve been in quite a pickle for years and I REALLY hope that HARP 3 passes. I refinanced in 2005 and took out a loan for 125% LTV to pay off medical expenses. BIGGEST MISTAKE OF MY LIFE. I am now 50k underwater, 1st mtg is an ARM ($120k) and 2nd mtg ($78k) is at 11.75% interest. I am barely able to afford the payments, but I’m sticking with it since I don’t want my credit to go to crap by walking away or short sale. I have no other choice. Here’s to hoping!

    1. Hi Katy,

      We are in the same boat. So, let’s us persevere and remain hopeful that the power that be will be awakened to the true definition of “hardship”, which is the integrity, commitment, and courage (not to mention the fact of being responsible citizens) shown by most of us to continue paying our monthly mortgage payments, in spite of, and not ONLY limited to “missed” payments which they consider hardship by their own definition.

      again, what seems to be missing from this equation is that the people in decision making are not knowledgeable about the reality of everyday lives.

    2. Hi Katy and Marlene,

      Not only am I in the same boat, my payments are going up 750.00 a month next month. That’s a 33 percent increase. How is that even legal? Everyone keeps referring to those of us underwater and still paying our mortgages as Responsible Homeowners because we maintain our payments at these ridiculous rates. I am beginning to wonder when should I be responsible for my family and health instead. If they are never going to consider those of us responsible homeowners who are Non-Freddie or Fannie backed…quit stringing us along so we can make some hard long term decisions. As my dad used to say…these people in “charge” need to shit or get off the pot!

      1. That is awful that your payment is going up that high! I’m dreading the day that ours will. The more I read about Harp 3, the more I’m thinking it’s not going to help us. :/ It’s only for 1st Mortgages but it’s the 2nd that’s killing us. But still, I hope they pass it for everyone’s sake. I too wonder if keeping up with the payments are worth it anymore. I hear stories about how people are getting homes right away after they short sale or foreclose, and knowing my luck, I would get sued for the difference. I just want relief and fast! Come on government, do your job!

        1. Just a little advice for anyone considering a short sell. You better talk to your tax professional. I plan on writing a post about this soon. The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act expired on 12/31/2013. Which means any forgiven debt from a short sell would be considered taxable income. Some lawmakers are trying to get the law reinstated. But as we all know with HARP 3.0, it is no guarantee.

          1. With the risk of appearing hopeless, it seems that we have civilly exhausted every initiative available to us to obtain the opportunity to refinance our home at a lower interest rate to no avail. I contacted (and I know most of you did too) every elected official, I have written letters to President Obama, I contacted the media (including CNN), I voted faithfully for those believed to be empathetic to the concerns of everyday tax payers, I have written in support of Director Mel Watt’s confirmation.

            In spite of my active role and yours, the prospect of a HARP 3.0 is not even near fruition. The bill about #My Refi is not even on life support. Like Tiffany and Katy, passage of a HARP 3.0 is not going to be beneficial to me, primarily due to the current Increased interest rate and the fact that I would need it most for my secondary mortgage’s high interest rate (secondary mortgages are excluded from HARP). Nevertheless, I would have loved to see HARP 3.00 come to fruition in solidarity to all those who could benefit from its passage, as President Obama mentioned in previous State of the Union Addresses.

            I would like to persevere and urge those who face similar refinancing challenges to do the same. Nevertheless, the current inaction by elected officials that are elected by the people for the people is disappointing when NO elected official seems to have the power or willingness to address this critical issue of importance to the health of US economy.

            If I sounded depressed, it is not my intention to appear skeptical. It’s just that people are hurting financially, have been for a few years now, and will continue to do so, unless those in Washington, FHFA, and Treasury are awakened to the reality of our everyday lives by taking positive/corrective action to improve or remedy the problem.

            Tonight, I am looking forward to hearing some positive news from the President’s State of the Union Address that will go beyond promises for those homeowners who have been prevented from taking opportunity of refinancing to a lower interest rate.

  3. Obama campained under making homes affordable. He didnt tell people it was only available for Freddie mac and Fannie May secured loans. This is discrimination and I for on am still upside down at 9.5% on 120,000 loan paying near 1,100.00 a month. Please make my home affordable. I am an American too.

    1. Know how it is Jerry! I am paying 11%…. No body is interested about keeping the Billions in this Country!!!! Keep sending it out of this Country to everyplace around the world…. which does NOT help Americans!!!

  4. My Wife was killed as a result of a Brutal HOME INVASION was NOT able to recover from her injuries! I am 82, Disabled and received injuries of a Concussion followed by a Stroke…. My home is in Foreclosure because I used all our savings trying to keep my alive. Unable to find any Help for a REFI, Loan, Grant or other way to keep from loosing my Home! NZ Development refuses to work with me and wants payment of all their fees on top of note amounts. Only owe around $12,000 on land, have equity of $285,000, but no one wants to make loan of only $50,000 to p[ay off Land mortgage and allow me to repair damages made in Home Invasion and Fire… Can anyone Help me????

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