Archive for the ‘Refinance’ Category

This week mortgage rates have risen .25% – .375% in rate.  This is largely due to an improving economy.  If Wall Street is happy with the economy then rates rise.  Retail sales have grown and a majority of the retail sectors are showing signs of growth.

The sad part of this news is that rates have risen just before HARP 2.0 takes effect.  This program is going to allow underwater homeowners who have been making their payments the opportunity to refinance into a lower interest rate regardless of the appraised value.

If you are in the market to purchase, now is the time to buy. You will be able to afford a much larger house at a lower interest rate.  If you are planning on using HARP 2.0, you need to act now.  As mentioned in previous blog posts, higher demand means higher rates.  You need to get your paperwork in place so when HARP 2.0 is released, you will be ready..  Call for a free quote or complete an online preapproval at .

About the Author:  Chuck Walden (NMLS #148160) is a loan officer with Prospect Mortgage.  Email Chuck at or call 678-725-8076. Website is

Interest Rates

Interest Rates (Photo credit: 401K)


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A month or so ago, I discussed the upcoming release of HARP 2.0.  HARP 1.0 is a mortgage program which allows homeowners to refinance up to 125% of their home’s value.  Of course, some lenders do put their own restrictions on the Loan to Value (LTV).  HARP 2.0 is “supposed” to remove the LTV cap for underwater homeowners and provide them with the much needed benefit of a refinance at a lower rate.

Even though this program was released last year, the official launch should be in mid March 2012.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been updating their systems in order to accomplish the approvals of this new program.

Call to action:  DO NOT wait until mid March to start thinking about doing this.  Go ahead and get your loan officer on the phone and get the process started now.  I’m sure you can imagine the massive influx of new refinance applications that will pour in once this has been released.  Your loan officer will give you a list of items needed in order to process and underwrite your new loan.  Make sure you’re at the top of the stack not the bottom.

To apply immediately, you can call me at 678-725-8076 or go to my website and apply there.

About the Author:  Chuck Walden (NMLS #148160) is a loan officer with Prospect Mortgage.  Email Chuck at or call 678-725-8076.  Bonus: Click to get a free, no obligation preapproval. I love to work with my readers!

On November 15th, HARP 2.0 arrived like an early Christmas present.  Now we have to wait until it’s time to open it. Unfortunately, patience is not one of my gifts, but I’ll do my best.

HARP 2.0 is a refinance program intended to help approximately 7 million homeowners who are currently over 80% loan to value their home or completely underwater due to declining home values.  The main criteria of the program is that your loan must be owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and you must have closed before June 1, 2009.  You can check to see if your loan is owned by Fannie Mae here or Freddie Mac here. If it is not owned by one of these two entities, you are not eligible for the HARP program.  This also eliminates FHA, USDA, and Jumbo transactions.  You can check to see if your closing date was prior to June 1,2009 by looking at your closing paperwork.

The HARP 2.0 program offers some very lenient guidelines.  

1)  You are allowed to have one 30 day mortgage late over the last 12 months. 

2)  A typical appraisal probably will not be required. Lenders may use an AVM (Automated Valuation Model) to determine your homes value.  The appraised value will not matter.

3)  You can use any mortgage lender for the HARP program.  You do not have to use the same bank that currently holds your mortgage.

4)  If you currently have PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) you will continue to pay the same monthly premium and continue to have PMI.

5)  The maximum loan amount is $417,000

6)  You can roll in the costs associated with the loan into the new mortgage

7)  Primary residences, Second Homes, and Investment properties all qualify

8)  You cannot consolidate a first and second mortgage into one loan under this program.  If you currently have a 2nd mortgage or HELOC, it will be up to the bank that holds the 2nd to agree to subordinate the junior mortgage.

9)  If you have already taken advantage of HARP, you are not eligible to do so again.

10)  You do not need to have a job to qualify unless your new principal and interest payment increases by more than 20%.  Your income will not be verified.

When the first HARP program was released in 2009, lenders applied their own criteria to the program. For instance, some only allowed the loan to value to be 95%.   The program should be released and ready to go the first week of December.  As lenders attempt to wrap their hands around this new program and determine exactly what the qualifications will be, let’s get ready to take advantage.  If there is a huge gain in refinance volume, it is possible that lenders will raise rates in order to control the flow of new refinances

Freddie Mac

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into their pipelines.  You need to start getting your paperwork together now so when it’s time to act, you’ll be ready.  Send an email to for a complete checklist of items you will need.