A number of homeowners are still in dire risk of losing their home due to poor financial decisions that were made by lenders prior to 2009. A program was implemented to help these homeowners so that they could keep their home and taxpayers and lenders could avoid the brunt of numerous foreclosures. Referred to as HARP, the Home Affordable Refinance Program in California was originally set to end in December 2013, but the date has been extended. If you’re a struggling homeowner, now’s your chance to get the help you need.

What Is HARP?

The California Home Affordable Refinance Program allows homeowners that owe more than their home is worth to refinance. The program is meant to help Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and taxpayers avoid the financial responsibility that comes with foreclosures. Since the program’s induction, more than 2 million homeowners have refinanced through the program.

How Can It Help Homeowners?

Homeowners that are underwater and owe more on their home that is worth can benefit from this program because it allows them to substantially reduce their payments. By refinancing, homeowners may qualify for a much lower interest rate, which could greatly reduce their monthly payments to a more manageable amount. Not to mention that it could save homeowners tens of thousands off their mortgages.

What Are the Qualifications?

There are a number of qualifications homeowners must meet in order to use the HARP program. First of all, the loan must have been through or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. If the loan was purchased by either lender, it must have been prior to May 31, 2009. The mortgage cannot have been refinanced through the HARP program unless it’s a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP between March to May 2009. The loan to value ratio must also be more than 80-percent. Lastly, the borrower must be current on their mortgage. There should be no late payments from the past 6 months and no more than one over the course of the last 12 months.

When Does the Program End?

The original deadline to apply to the HARP program was December 31, 2013. Homeowners that meet the qualifications now have until December 31, 2015 to apply.

The HARP program is something that any qualifying homeowner should consider. With the ability to drastically reduce the amount of money you owe, and your payments, you can’t afford to pass on this chance. With an increased deadline giving homeowners until December 31, 2015, you have more than enough time to get your paperwork together and apply. Check out the lendingexpertblog.com to learn more.