HARP 3.0 Bill Reintroduced in Congress

by on February 19, 2013Jason Van Steenwyk

Legislation has been reintroduced to create an expanded version of HARP, or the Home Affordable Refinance ProgramTwo Democratic senators, Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, have reintroduced legislation that would create a new, expanded version of HARP, or the Home Affordable Refinance Program, called “HARP 3.0.”

The original HARP, and its expanded successor HARP 2.0, helped fuel the refinancing boom that propped up the mortgage and real estate markets since the dark days of 2009. Well, that and some heavy money creation at the Federal Reserve and rock-bottom interest rates that held conforming mortgages below 4 percent all through 2012.

The new HARP bill, S.249, is essentially a repeat of the same bill introduced last year, which failed to gain any traction in Congress. HARP 3.0 would expand the streamlined refinancing program to include any GSE-backed loan, eliminate the programs’ restrictions on loan-to-value ratios, and prevent the GSEs from charging a fee to take on a loan they already guarantee.

Industry Support for HARP 3.0

The bill has garnered the support of a number of key real estate-related trade groups, including the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, the National Association of Realtors®, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, and the Center for Responsible Lending.

HARP 3.0′s Major Provisions

Unless Congress acts, HARP, as written, is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2013. The RHRA would extend the program for a year.

According to the bill’s supporters, the new bill would make it easier for more lenders to compete for HARP refinancing business – driving down loan costs in the process. Amherst Securities Group found that HARP borrowers typically pay a point more than people with non-HARP loans, according to Boxer’s office. Amherst also found that banks had been charging borrowers who had refinanced loans they already had with that bank – so-called “captive” borrowers – some .53 points more than they charged other borrowers.

The bill also moves to eliminate a curious perverse incentive that was built into previous versions of the HARP program: Those who had paid down their balances or had built 20 percent equity or better in their homes were in effect locked out of the best deals in the HARP program. Originally, HARP locked these borrowers out altogether. The Federal Housing Authority loosened the rules and lowered fees – but only for people with less than 20 percent equity. This meant that the most responsible borrowers – the ones who had been paying down their balances, improving their properties and building equity – were forced to pay much higher fees than the more profligate borrowers – by as much as 2 percent. That means a difference of $4,000 for a typical $200,000 refinance.

The new bill seeks to level the playing field so that those with higher levels of equity are not penalized for their prudence.

A Couple of Weird Things About HARP 3.0

Curiously, even as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau releases regulations requiring lenders to verify employment and income for newly originated loans, this bill would go the opposite direction for refinances. Specifically, the bill would eliminate the requirement for the borrower to prove income or employment. According to Senator Boxer’s office, eliminating the requirement will result in HARP “streamlining the refinancing process and removing unnecessary costs and hassle for lenders and borrowers alike.”

Whether the process of verifying income and employment before allowing hundreds of thousands of dollars to change hands, following the hard experience of the last six years, is a necessary and prudent practice, is left as an exercise for the reader.

The new bill also seeks to streamline the appraisal process. Currently, the GSEs use computer technology to define estimated valuations without having to involve an in-person appraisal. But this only works well in neighborhoods with a lot of comps to look at. Under the current rules, the GSEs frequently require an on-site appraisal for homes in rural areas or areas where there are few comps to form a reliable appraisal using an automated valuation model.

The bill seeks to force GSEs to use automated valuation models even where there are few comps to form a valid comparison. The plus, of course, is that the homeowner can save hundreds of dollars in appraisal costs. The minus, of course, is that no matter how hard Sens. Menendez and Boxer try, they cannot wish away the basic rules of statistics: You cannot form an accurate appraisal model in a dynamic market without a sufficient number of recent and local sales to form a valid comparison.

This Ain’t Free Money 

On the surface, easy refinancing on better terms seems like a sweet deal to homeowners. But it comes at a cost to everyone else. The Congressional Research Service notes that publicly owned mutual funds, which own 18.5 percent of mortgage-backed securities, would suffer because of reduced investment income – a phenomenon called “reinvestment risk.”

Current Status and Outlook

The proposed bill is now in the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs – the first step in the legislative process. It has picked up a number of co-sponsors, in addition to the early backing of Boxer and Menendez.

Because the bill is popular among mainstream real estate industry, construction groups and liberal groups alike (it’s backed by the Center for American Progress), and because the program is popular among homeowners nationwide, it has a very good chance of emerging from the Democrat-controlled committee.

{ 104 comments… read them below or add one }

Tanya K March 6, 2014 at 5:13 pm

I have an underwater WHEDA loan and am stuck with not being able to refi unless I pay down the mortgage to make it level again. To those who live in WI….think twice about going with this product!!!!!


Sean Johnson February 11, 2014 at 2:34 pm

Dear Jason,

In response to President Obama omitting any mention of new refinance opportunities for underwater homeowners from his 2014 State of The Union Address, makeharp3happen.com has launched a new “We the People’ Whitehouse.gov petition calling for the administration to install a HARP 3.0 Count Up Clock in The White House Entrance Hall to remind the President, Congress, and other policy makers of their failure to expand the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).

To view the petition in its entirety, go to http://wh.gov/lNIIm

For more information on the petition read this press release: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/02/prweb11546980.htm


John January 4, 2014 at 6:49 am

I live in San Diego, Ca. where real estate values have been on a roller coaster ride for years. I owe more than the property is currently worth. I’m retired and make my mortgage payments on time. I finananced with Wells Fargo Banks. There isn’t anything else I can do! HARP 3 is my only HOPE at this point.


Sean Johnson February 11, 2014 at 2:34 pm

In response to President Obama omitting any mention of new refinance opportunities for underwater homeowners from his 2014 State of The Union Address, makeharp3happen.com has launched a new “We the People’ Whitehouse.gov petition calling for the administration to install a HARP 3.0 Count Up Clock in The White House Entrance Hall to remind the President, Congress, and other policy makers of their failure to expand the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).

To view the petition in its entirety, go to http://wh.gov/lNIIm

For more information on the petition read this press release: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/02/prweb11546980.htm


Andrea December 31, 2013 at 7:49 pm

I really hope this goes through for 2014, so my family and I can move forward!


Kathryn Distel November 9, 2013 at 5:46 pm

I live in Arizona, one of the Hardest hit by what greedy mortgage brokers did
to securitize mortgages and expect us to bail out the banks and pay the trustees, the other greedy people. Arizona Attorney General just turned his head and
did not work with housing agencies to protect the citizenry in Arizona.

Congress should be totally ashamed of themselves for acting NOT in the best interests to protect the middle wage earners who were dumb enough to vote you in. My father, a WW2 Marine aviator in the Pacific Theatre did not even expect disability or any of the handouts people now feel they are “entitled to”. My vote is to do away with federal govt pensions and goodies to all of Congress.

Congress, you will get yours in due time for your greed and love of money.
I am a middle incomer; I’ve worked since age 14, and none of you have the right to steal our homes because YOU did not regulate the mortgage and banking industry. Get on the extension of the Mortgage Debt Relief Act passed and get HARP 3.0 passed for the people who have been done Dirty on their mortgages. GET IT DONE !!!!


Angela September 23, 2013 at 6:48 pm

My family refinanced with the Harp in 2012. Our initial loan was an 80/20. The 20% of course was the higher interest rate. We were only allowed to refinance the 80% loan. I’ve been trying to get a financial organization to refinance my 20% loan. I can’t understand why we weren’t allowed to combine the two and refinance both. Although the Harp program is great, if you qualify, how does it not consider families that have 80/20 financing. Still looking for refinancing or to combine the two.


harjindra October 22, 2013 at 9:24 pm

please pass the bill harp 3.0 asap need help working two jobs to make payment cant refinanced because of underwater and not qualify for the harp 2.0.


Anne September 21, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Congress need to hurry up and pass harp 3 program we need help the people need help. This program help those of us that don’t qualify for the harp 2 program.


Cheryl September 5, 2013 at 7:40 am

If you have equity in your home & good credit & have made all your payment on time would you qualify for the new Harp 3? We have been turned down due to being self employed & our debt to income ratios. We missed the 2009 Harp 2.0 date by only a few months so will we now qualify?


Catherine Coy December 9, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Cheryl, you can’t have it both ways. If you’re an aggressive user of the Tax Code, your reported income is probably low and your DTI (debt to income) ratio is high. HARP 3.0 won’t help you, either.


Simon August 25, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Our house is not FannieMae or FreddieMac and we cannot refinance it because of this. We wish this bill was passed through congress ASAP. I think this will help a lot of howowners can refinance through underwater and it will increase our economics together.


Janet August 11, 2013 at 5:48 pm

I was approved under Making Homes Affordable Program, and because of this my mortgage servicer says I don’t qualify for assistance an also because I’m behind in my mortgage payments. I do not have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac backed loan. I am $214,000 underwater and looking for help. Desperately need a refinance with a mortgage reduction.


Janice OConnell July 10, 2013 at 9:36 am

Beware….the bill that is now before the Senate banking committee DOES NOT ADDRESS NON GSE LOANS. In other words….read the language of the bill….it will not extend refinancing to those of us who do not have loans with Freddie or Fannie! I am not sure if first AND second mortgages can be combined and refinanced even if it did extend to us. The Harp 3.0 that Obama talked about is not exactly the same as the Boxer/Menendez Bill (249) that is being called the Responsible Homeowner Refinance Act of 2013!
If funding under Senate bill 249 could be provided under an existing authority (like TARP) then a simple administrative action could expand and cover us too. Also….Jeff Merkley (Oregon Senator) has a pilot program that is working out there…how about the rest of America?


Morganikaine June 13, 2013 at 4:28 am

I settled in 9/2009 w/ a Freddie Mac 51/2% fixed 30 yr mortgage. I am under water, also a single parent of a child w disabilities. I feel The cut off date extension will help people like me. I missed the date by months after trying to qualify for the Hope program, which was b4 hope. Now I feel I missed the boat w interest rates going up. What can I do to make this change???
I’d b happy to contact every senator and will try to contact mine today. But what really can be done?


Denise June 5, 2013 at 2:34 pm

How long and when are they going to pass the HARP 3.0 bill? I don’t have a Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae loan. I have a Wheda loan and the only way to save my home is if they pass the bill. I have a interst rate of 6.25% and my house is valued at $88,000 and I owe $112,000 on it>


Marion Hedger June 7, 2013 at 8:13 am

Hi Denise:

I have been told that it is just two or three weeks until they hear something about Harp 3 passing. I’m not sure, of course, on the complete reliability of that information but it has been said to me by 2 or 3 different mortgage brokers.


charles clark June 25, 2013 at 9:55 am

I have an 88,000 conventional mortgage at an extremely rate of 8.90 the house only appraised at 81,700 so unable to refinance.Have tried the Hamp program which is an OBAMA joke.My only hope is Harp 3 or I will loose our home this year.Does anyone know if Harp3 is going to happen if so when or is it just another political farce.


Jeff June 3, 2013 at 7:05 pm

I refinanced in 2011 through Bank of America. I’m a fairly new homeowner (about 4 years), started out at 5.7%. Then in 2011 I called BOA and they offered me a free refinance but only down to 5.3%. I figured hey it’s free so why not do it. Little did I know a year later I could have gotten a rait in the 3% range. I have outstanding credit score but now even if they pass HARP 3.0 I’ll be disqualified because I’ve previously refinanced with HARP. Anyone else in my boat?


Sheila May 29, 2013 at 9:38 am

I agree reponsible homeowners should have been included in Harp 2.0. Now we are still waiting for Harp 3.0 to be passed since being introduced in January 2012. This is ridiculous. I have credit scores of 800 plus. Non-deliquent in mortgage payments, which means my lender disqualifed me for HAMP. & they are not offering me any other help. My property appraised @ 265k, which I do not understand, seeing a simlilar property just sold @ 423k 12/2012. I owe 370k. My property appraised @ 450k in 2006. I understand the economy has changed, which is why we shouldn’t be held to the same rules to obtain a refi. I have written U.S. reps & senators on getting this bill passed to help responsible homeowners & I will definitely be calling their offices again & visiting their websites to forward my concerns. Contact info included if you reside in ILL. U.S. Representatives: 888-907-5171 Danny K. Davis; U.S. Senators: 888-907-8362 Dick Durbin/Mark Kirk


Bethany Steffel May 23, 2013 at 9:27 am

I am in the same boat as many others who posted. I am a 37 year old mother of 2 young children. I am married and we both work outside of the home. We bought our house 10 years ago and have NEVER made a late mortgage payment, even when my husband was laid off for 9 months. I’m not expecting a reward for our responsibility but a little break would be nice. The way this would happen is if Harp 3.0 was passed and the cut off date extended to end of the 2010 calendar year. Our loan is backed by Freddie Mac, however, the origination date is 10/30/10 because we refinanced then (NOT through Harp 2.0 either – we were misled by a mortgage broker). So frustrating!!!! PLEASE PASS & CHANGE THE CUT-OFF DATE FOR HARP 3.0


CP May 22, 2013 at 11:56 pm

How long does it take to make a decision on whether to pass a bill to help those of us who are Non-GSE homeowners. It cannot be about money because did not the government give many banks TARP funds. Why did they not just include Non-GSE homeowners in the upgraded Harp 2.0. and be done with it. Also, how long does it take to nominate a person in a position (Mel Watts)? This is like pulling skin!


Marilyn May 14, 2013 at 8:04 pm

I am a 62 y/o. I am underwater by about $12,000, I have excellent credit, have never been even 1 day late with a payment to anyone! I make under $50k. I am supporting my daughter and 3 grandchildren. My husband died 2 months ago. I don’t qualify for any widow benefits because I earn too much. I need to refince to the Harp 3.0 to give me some relief – when might we expect this bill to be finished in committee and ready for a vote?


Thomas Flanagan May 11, 2013 at 10:30 am

I have been in the mortgage industry since 1987 as a Real Estate Broker, Underwriter for Fannie & Freddie and as a Mortgage Loan Officer and the Hart 2.0 program has helped many homeowners take advantage of todays low interest rates. As you know homeowners who refinance to a lower rate and therefore a lower payment immediately that savings go directly into our struggling economy.

Today I still see many homeowners with much higher interest rates that have purchased their homes after that 5/31/2009 date that someone pulled out of the air. Foreclosed sales still make others around them suffer with home values and it could take years before enough good sales come through to support higher home values, thus allowing trade up and trade down buyers and sellers to enter the market.

Appraisers that are forced to use foreclosed comparable sales, which do not support real homeowners, because investor purchased these properties for cash, thus not allowing a 1st time homeowner a chance to buy as a FHA or a low down payment conventional loan.

We still have a lot to fix in this housing market and those who make the rules must have a good understanding of what’s really happening.

Banks and their “Shadow Real Estate” who are withholding their inventory, trying to create a shortage, are really holding back homeowners to buy which I believe are really hurting the market, specially in seasonal areas which only have a 4-6 month window to purchase in.

I volunteer myself to help those who make the rules, form committee’s of Real Estate professionals who deal with todays market to help get this housing market back on its feet.


Rosie May 29, 2013 at 12:26 am

Mr. Thomas Flanagan, could i please have your e-mail information. I have some questions in regards to my situation. Thank you


Mark May 7, 2013 at 8:30 am

good website for Harp 3.0 – looks like we need to follow who will be director and send an email


President Obama has finally taken the action to oust Ed Demarco as head of the FHFA. Congressman Mel Watt, D-N.C. has been nominated for FHFA director. The choice is curious to say the least. The Senate must confirm the selections and this is a very partisan selection. Republicans are already criticizing the nomination and they have enough power to block the confirmation. Republicans previously blocked the selection of Joseph Smith who appeared to be a much more qualified candidate. Smith had experience as a Banking Regulator. Mel Watt does not. I want to see Ed Demarco ousted but I’m not real confident that the Mel Watt nomination will standup, and frankly I’m not overly impressed with his credentials to run such an important agency. I would have much preferred Mark Zandi or Ted Tozer who were also to be rumored as candidates for the position.


Diane May 4, 2013 at 2:54 pm

We are I the same situation.
Not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
Not eligible for any programs but we are 50%underwater
Current payments
Live in Florida
Encourage all to use social media, especially YouTube to make your situations and your voices heard. It’s time responsible homeowners made their voices heard.


FAL May 2, 2013 at 6:28 pm

I bought my house 8 years ago at age of 25, and have not missesd a single payment!!! i just need Harp 3.0 to lower my bills…help!!!!


Michael Agee May 2, 2013 at 2:22 am

Sir, Please dont let Harp 3.0 die. I’m a hard working responsible citizen who pays my bills on time. I have 2 terrible high interest mortgage loans. I’m about to lose my home. I desperatly need to refinance. My credit score is 824!!!!!! And it means nothing. Since I dont have a Fannie Mae or a Freddie Mac loan, Im screwed!!! Please help us!!!!


mark April 29, 2013 at 5:22 am

I have a loan that has been resold by the lenders several times and is outside the origination guidelines by 1 month to qualify for the Harp program. I have never been late and was paying ahead until I recently was became seperated going from 2 incomes to one. My house is underwater in value based on the recent foreclosure sales. This means that any future savings I have planned are now being put towards my house payment causing me to ignore my golden years to advert losing my house. Please open the guidelines to allow those folks who are good credit risks to keep their dreams alive!


Mark April 25, 2013 at 10:11 am

Just email Mr. DeMarco at director@fhfa.gov to eliminate the cut-off date. Having never missed a mortgage payment should be good enough for qualifying. Also, sent a message to Menedez and Boxer. It probably won’t help but who knows…


Dan Schwarzbach April 25, 2013 at 9:20 am

It is about time Congress is doing something to help folks that pay there bills on time, have good credit, but can’t qualify to refinance their high rate loans because they are self-employed and struggling through this recession to make ends meet…just hope that rates don’t escalate before the harp 3.0 is ratified!!!


ted April 25, 2013 at 9:08 am

I have more than 10 loans at very high rates. I have perfect credit, but I can not refinance.


ted April 25, 2013 at 9:00 am

I would like to see harp expanded to allow borrowers who have any mortgage fannie, freddie, and non-fannie/freddi to refinance at today’s rate, if they have good credit, and no late pays. I also have I have good credit, no late payments, and equity and I cannot refinance. I am sure actuaries would determine I am a very low risk borrower, but I cannot refinance.

Borrowers who have good credit, no late pays, and pay as agreed for years, should be able to refinance with no documentation. Many high risk borrowers can refinance, and I can not refinance. I have good credit, equity, and spotless payment history.
I own rental property.


Terry April 24, 2013 at 7:41 pm

I am also searching and searching for relief. My house was paid off and 1 year prior to the drop, I took a loan to fix up my house. My gosh! It was just a new roof and some major old replacements, like the water heater and wall furnace! I wasn’t buying a new boat or even a car! My house went underwater completely with a drop of $250,000 and then I lost my tenured job of 15 years! My new job, after 2 years out of work, it now 50% less than I made previously. I should be ready to retire (62 yrs.) in a couple of years and was hoping to have everything replaced in my home so that I would be able to live on my fixed income. Now I will never be able to retire, I will never be able to sell my house and there is a good chance I will lose it too! I lived on the loan money for over 2 years and now don’t have any of the repairs done. I have cut out anything extra in my life so that I can pay my insurance and my mortgage. (that includes heat in the winter and air in the summer, no television, no dryer, no dishwasher etc.) I have NEVER been late in ANY payment that I owe to ANYONE! Yet I, and those of you who have shared your stories, are being punished for being responsible people! I refuse to let my home go into foreclosure just to try to apply for a HAMP loan. Even then, you can ruin your credit (and your chance for a regular refinance) if they chose not to grant you a loan and you are in an even worse spot.
I never thought I would be homeless in my senior years through no fault of my own!


Catherine Coy December 9, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Why would you be homeless, Terry? When you took out the loan, you were satisfied with the interest rate and capable of making the resulting payment, were you not? What difference does it make to your lifestyle if your house is underwater? You have continued to make the payments as you would have had the value not declined, correct? I think the question you need to ask yourself is why did you live on the borrowed money for so long? Were you actively, aggressively and creatively looking for a new job, or were you so disheartened by the loss of your tenured job that you were unable (possibly unwilling) to find a new job since money was in your bank account and so there was far less pressure to find a job? The first thing you need to do is be brutally honest with yourself and then proceed from there.


jj April 24, 2013 at 7:24 pm

There is increased chatter that our economy and some other global economies may be slowing down. So, no my home will not increase enough in equity to refinance. Washington pull your thumb out your ass. We need help! Country before party!


D Williams April 24, 2013 at 2:13 pm

I have been working with 2 banks for a refinance for over 2 years since I lost my business and all my retirement and investment money. Denied, Denied, Denied…..Without a refinance (not bail out) I will lose my home (single at age 63) and be out on the streets, and yet the banks won’t refinance because I am not Fannie or Freddie loan. I was told Harp III would allow me to refinance. I think Congress should take all the bail out money back from the lenders if the banks are not going to work to help relieve the foreclosures and short sales. It is hard enough losing all my income, savings, retirement and now left with just a modest income, I stand to lose my home. I have already lost one home because of a B of A loan issue.


Karen April 23, 2013 at 10:04 pm

This would help out many of us who pay our mortgages on time and are stuck with these high interest rates and can’t refinance due to not have a government back loan. We were told that we are among the 5% who’s loan did not get sold. Please help!


Andres Bonilla April 17, 2013 at 11:40 am

I just find out my loan is owned by Novastar Mortgage Funding Trust which is part of a securitized investment trust; would this prevent me to get anything done with HARP 3.0 if it passes?


Steve April 16, 2013 at 10:49 pm

June 1 2009 was Day One for HARP 1.0, these wewre the people waiting in line for the no qual, streamlines, what they are saying is you only get one shot at adjusting your rate with no quals. I should have waited, too.
Hopefully they will open this up for those of us who haven’t been able to take advantage of the past 2-3 years of really low rates, don’t hold your breath, though.


Caroline Gerardo April 11, 2013 at 2:50 pm

HARP 2.0 was extended today to 2015 It is mostly the same as HARP was before.
Must be current either 12 months (or 24 if your FICO is low)
No loan to value limit (this is not true at banks they have limits – your servicing bank will have “overlays” or more strict rules)
only can do it once
Must Must have been sold to Fannie or Freddie really closed in March 2009 to get there by the deadline…
Must qualify because CFPB added their “protections”
Banks are stricter on qualify ratios than mortgage bankers direct
most no appraisal- LP or DU software decides this

3.0 there is no bill for Borrowers who weren’t sold to GSE’s (Fannie Freddie) -

Good news:
values are increasing, you may be closer to standard refinance than you think, or
equity sale
you should be able to apply for free and find out if you can go no appraisal


Violette April 14, 2013 at 9:52 am

Well, the idea that “values are increasing” is not realistic when people are still walking away or short selling. The condo next door to me was sold at the top of the market at $429k and was just foreclosed. The new buyer paid $180k. The fact that they use comps to set values continues to impact the situation. I am now $90k underwater. I can’t lower my interest rate, can’t afford to do major repairs or improvements on my home since I have no equity and an not likely to have any in the foreseeable future.

I feel lucky to still be able to make my payments. It is maddening to see ads for mortgages with rates far below what I am paying and to be unable to take advantage of them.

I wonder about the effect on the economy if the interest we are paying to the banks was redirected towards remodeling and repairs, retail purchases, etc. I can only think that there would be an increase in employment and have a positive effect on the ecomony as a whole.


Marion H April 24, 2013 at 5:01 am

You make some very good points, Violette.

I have just tried, via the bank that holds my mortgage (HSBC), to get on to the HARP Program. All was going well. I have a pristine credit history and score, equity in my apartment, and 2 part time jobs. I have wonderful savings and a retirement account. In short I have never had so much as a bounced check and a late ANYTHING my entire life, and the guy was optimistic I would qualify – until it came to my salary! One of my jobs is part time with a W2 and the other income is from self employment (checks, PayPal and some cash). Even though I’ve done everything, and declared everything for taxes, my income is still pretty low. But I still qualified – until we realized that, as a partly self employed person, I had taken all of the (legal) deductions I could which brought that part of my income down to an unacceptably low level (by HSBC’s standards)!

If I had not taken all of these deductions, I would not have been able to stay afloat. HSBC has seen me make 90+ on-time mortgage payments of $784 (and sometimes more!) a month, so why would they think I couldn’t make the new payment of $497?? This makes me SO mad. I just need someone to look outside the box and realize that we don’t all fall into this cooker cutter zone. Sure, I would expect to pay a slightly higher interest rate, but come on HSBC!


Dan Schwarzbach April 25, 2013 at 9:26 am

Why shouldn’t you get the same low rate that folks do who don’t pay their bills on time? This new harp should include all bank loans, including those seconds we have taken out to stay afloat and pay our taxes with…


Marion H May 3, 2013 at 5:08 pm

You’re absolutely right, Dan. It makes me SO mad!

I decided to go directly to my HSBC branch and throw myself at their mercy. Figured I had nothing to lose. They couldn’t (wouldn’t) help me, of course, and I flat out told them that after 20 years with their bank, I was going to do a standard refi in January with someone else, once I’ve done this year’s taxes and shown my extra income – which I will. I have a friend who is very senior at Citibank and she told me that she would refi me early next year; would have done it straight away if she could have. HSBC told me that there are many, many, people in my position and gave me an example of a woman with a similar case to mine who had been in the previous day. Apparently, they’d told her to just NOT pay her mortgage for 5 months, and then she would apparently qualify for some kind of help! What morons!! Can you imagine what her credit score would look like, not to mention that she would never qualify for HARP 3 if it comes about?

Next thing I know, HSBC’s Mortgage Dept. shifted me to another department where a woman was trying desperately to persuade me to transfer my retirement account to them, so that she could take over the reins. Unbelievable! LOL. I told her I’d gladly transfer it to her, in exchange for a refi. Of course, that was the end of the conversation and I stormed out in a huff. Did I mention how much I loathe, HATE, and despise HSBC?

Teresa April 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm

We just tried refinancing under FHA only to find out when we did the appraisal that we are under by over $100,000…. Which mean now we have no other options unless HARP 3 rolls out. I don’t know why our lenders don’t give all of us responsible homeowners a one time rate reduction on their loans. It’s of no risk to them as the money is already out and most people don’t want any cash out so they wouldn’t even be extending any new credit. I hope they do something before the rates really begin to climb. Now I understand why people just walk away from their homes. There is no incentive for us to continue to be responsible when it only pays to be irresponsible.


Kelli April 15, 2013 at 2:16 pm

I’m not sure if your lender told you about an FHA streamline….This loan would require no appraisal or income verification. If interested, please let me know.


bobby April 19, 2013 at 11:08 am


Could you please provide me information about FHA streamline. Like many others I don’t qualify for Harp because my loan is not financed by FM/FM. I want to keep my house but being under with a high interest rate is making this very hard to do. Any information would be grateful.


Marion H April 24, 2013 at 5:03 am

Hi Kelli:
Can you please give me info about this, too?

Thank you!


Catherine Coy December 9, 2013 at 6:13 pm

An FHA streamline refince will add 1.75% (of the loan amount) to your current mortgage indebtedness. This is called “UFMIP” or “Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium.” In addition, the MIP (Monthly Insurance Premium) will be 1.35% on top of the interest rate. This is why, after the math has been calculated, an FHA loan often won’t provide a “tangible net benefit” to the consumer.


Debbie April 24, 2013 at 5:22 am

I agree, I’m in a similar situation. Bank of American holds my loan (not Fannie or Freddie), have attempted to get a lower rate several times to no avail. They wont work with you! I recently attempted to refi thru quicken, to find my house did not appraise for enough. I am current on my mortgage, but ready to give it up. I could rent a home at a much lower cost.


James April 10, 2013 at 1:01 pm

We recently attempted to do a re-fi on our loan for a lower rate. Credit on both of us is perfect, no missed or late payments ever, good retirement income. We qualified in every respect. We would realized a 400 savings in our monthly payments. Two years ago our home was appraised, and at that time we had over 100,000 in equity. A few days ago, after the new appraisal, we received word from the lender that it had decreased in value and we now had only 6000.00 in equity. Our last loan was close to, but after the HARP deadline. We are now in our 70′s and wife is back working as other normal expenses have risen. We can no longer do the re-fi due to the loss in equity. We cannot afford to do needed repairs to our home out of pocket and cannot secure or afford a second mortgage or home equity loan. As a result the value will continue downward. We are sharing one vehicle a 1998, with 190,000 on the clock, with liability only, and cannot afford a newer one, as there is no room in budget for it, or the associated insurance increase. We have no cable, do not run the air or heat for the most part, and share one cheap cell phone, do not eat out and never travel. Our computer is eight years old. We shop at Goodwill type stores and seldom buy meat. We retired in ’06, after working since we were both fifteen, and had more than we needed to get by as we are frugal. We receive no government assistance of any type. Things are changing rapidly in the economy, which were and are impossible to prepare for. We are stuck too. The only hope we have is HARP 3.0, providing it moves the date as one of its provisions.


Dan Schwarzbach April 25, 2013 at 9:30 am

Yes…if congress let responsible homeowners like you refinance at a lower rate and save hundreds of dollars a month, then maybe you would have the $$ to buy those new vehicles and other goods that would pull the US out of this recession!!


Tashia April 10, 2013 at 10:04 am

I really hope this passes or some verision of it for those of us who have loans not backed by freddie mac or fannie mae. I am underwater on my homeloan by about 15-20,000. I am divorced and got the house in the divorce and have to refinance by September 2014. I have tried upwards of 15 lenders and no one will help me or even call me back. I have excellent credit, a score of 786 and make very good money. It would be nice to lower my payment just a little bit although that is not my primary concern. I want my ex husband off my mortgage so he can stop calling and changing my address, etc.


Donny April 5, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Anyone know if privately backed loans will be able to refi with Harp 3.0?

When we first got our home loan we did an 80/20 and now are stuck at 7/8% loans and are underwater about 40K. I have contacted my current lender multiple times without any success. Just keep getting the run around.

BTW Indymac is my lender. They don’t seem to care about people who have always done right through them. If i could i would walk away and tell them to shove it but i just cannot.


Beth April 8, 2013 at 11:49 am

The Harp 2 program only helps if you have a federal backed loan such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. In talking with lenders, the Harp 3 would change that and allow those of us who are underwater, and current to be able to refinance and get out from under our 7/8-12.5% loans that fell through the cracks of the current Harp program.


gary March 31, 2013 at 5:19 pm

the june 1 2009 date needs to be removed date has no signifigance and just locks people out and forces more foreclosures for no reason.


Colleen April 7, 2013 at 3:45 pm

I agree with removing the date. We miss qualifying by less than 2 weeks. One thing we didn’t miss is the loss of value to our home that happened through no fault of ours. We have good credit and pay our bills. We can’t sell, can’t refinance right now, and need to lower our payments so we can at least maintain the “banks” property. I don’t feel it is my home anymore since if we sold we would walk away with nothing.


Eddie April 23, 2013 at 5:54 am

Gary, I agree with you 100% and Colleen, I feel your pain. We also missed the deadline by a week or so. Our credit scores are in the 800′s and we both have good jobs. It’s ridiculous. But isn’t all politics? I hope this bill passes.


jd March 29, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Denied, Denied, Denied!!! UGH!!! Excellent credit score (765) and never missed a payment. Just trying to get ahead a bit in the economy and maybe save something for the future. I am self employed and I do great on my taxes, but when it comes to refinancing, I’m a loser. My income doesn’t meet their criteria. I don’t qualify for HARP 2 because we closed June 26, 2009. Any help out there?


Analyst April 3, 2013 at 9:02 am

My exact problem. But I feel worse for you, since you barely missed that date. I did it in Nov/2010. But this article does not address that issue. That is the one roadblock for many of us.

I also have credit close to 750, good steady income, never missed a pmt., etc. I am of course underwater by about 110% LTV, which is what the HARP is supposed to help mitigate.


DS March 28, 2013 at 9:54 pm

The goal must be to allow ALL people take advantage of the lower rates & lower monthly payments regardless of their current loan to value. BUT make no mistake; each person should be forced to qualify under the normal qualifying guidelines. NOT Qualifying by proving income would be a big mistake. NOT Qualifying with good Credit Scores & good credit history would also be a mistake. Those things hurt us before. Value is relative. Value changes every 6 months. Value should have no bearing on a refinance. Writing down mortgages is a waste of tax payer money. There are a few things that should be changed in HARP 3.0. Your current mortgage should not HAVE to be originated prior to May 31, 2009. Mortgages originated after that date are underwater too. The loans that are NOT Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac should be permitted in the HARP 3.0. The Freddie Mac product should be just like the Fannie Mae product. The Mortgage Insurance feature was a good one as well. If they did not have mortgage insurance when they purchased because they put down 20%; then they do not need to have mortgage insurance when they refinance. There should be a second mortgage HARP product to refinance second mortgages that were taken out after the purchase. The reason they cannot be combined is because they were taken as cash out and that is OK, but they should be able to take advantage of a lower second mortgage interest rate to lower their payments. FHA had a negative equity loan which I believe expired December 31, 2012. This FHA negative equity loan REQUIRED the original lender write down a portion of the loan, which I do not support. That adds to tax payer burden. They also limited the loan to value around 115% if I remember correctly. I think they should adopt the philosophy of the HARP loan and remove the LTV and allow the lower rate with normal qualifying guidelines. No write downs, Must Qualify with income & credit with no regard to LTV is the best way to go for all parties involved. One more thing. . . The HomePath loans are dangerous in my opinion and causing a real buying frenzy. Only problem is the borrowers are buying the financing and not the home. That is a dangerous move. Home Path is a dangerous loan to both the market and the consumer. The only winner with Home Path is Fannie Mae. Home Path is a purchase program available on Fannie Mae owned homes. The MAIN PROBLEM with Home Path is you do not need an appraisal. They are selling the VAST MAJORITY of these homes way over market value. HOME SALES of ALL KINDS should require an appraisal to protect the borrower from entering the market immediately under water. HomePath borrowers can buy with 3% down, Fannie Mae normally pays 3% closing costs, there is NO MORTGAGE insurance which saves the borrower a lot of money, and there CAN NOT BE ANY APPRAISAL. Who approved this financing? Buyers submit their offer during an open period so Fannie Mae can view many offers at once and they regularly go back to ALL of the buyers and tell them to provide their HIGHEST And BEST offer. This promotes a bidding frenzy “AUCTION MENTALITY” and drives the sales price way over true value. ALL purchases should require an appraisal. The terms they provide are exclusive for the Fannie Mae Foreclosures, which is discriminatory. Someone should review this product and make revisions immediately. We are seeing a big release of these properties and make no mistake this will hurt our market. And one last thing. . . The appraisal process should be reviewed again. There is much daylight between the appraisers’ view of value and borrowers’ view of value based on the borrowers’ search of the market. Supply and demand normally controls value. Appraisers should provide adjustment based on market condition. When a property goes up for sale and is sold in hours of being listed; then value should be added. Likewise if a property is marketed for 6 months before being sold; then value should be detracted for market conditions. The low appraisals are driving borrowers out of the market. Especially when it takes them so long to land a contract and it costs them $400 for an appraisal; only to find out the property doesn’t appraise and they do not have the resources to pay the difference between appraised value and sales price. This is a fine line. We need an appraisal to protect borrowers against overpaying and protect lenders investment but we also need to consider the competition of the market to provide for the increase in true value of these homes. There should also be a period of time the property can only be sold to owner occupied borrowers (maybe 2 weeks) to give them a slight edge over investors. And one more thing. . . Realtors should go back to presenting their own offers directly to the seller with the presence of the listing agent. This would provide better transparency and assure the seller have a good understanding of the borrowers contract and intent. Right now the offers are given to the listing agent and no one witnesses the presentation of the contract to the owners. No one knows the borrower as well as the selling agent. Hopefully you can make many changes to improve the market and allow it to rebound in a healthy state.


Mike H March 27, 2013 at 8:40 am

I just sent Boxer a note. I too have a non-conventional loan that I did since my wife had a stroke and lost her job and income so we did the best we could getting a mortgage in 2006. Now I am underwater due to the crash in Arizona. My ARm starts to rise this June which in Arizona you can walk away from your house with no legal recourse. I do not want to do this. Thought I could refinance before the ARM kicked in but I was wrong. If you have a good job and good credit, why can you not refinance without an appraisal?? Makes no sense to me if I want to stay in my home.


B Manning March 23, 2013 at 3:52 am

I am also underwater and on time with payments and refuse to walk away, just looking for a fixed lower rate since that was the original plan when we bought our home from the bank …… (go ahead get the arm we will refinance this loan in 3 yrs) they forgot to inform me that they do not honor their appraisals if the market takes a dive funny how that goes! so instead of the banks doing the right thing for the customers it has to take an act of congress to help us. THANKYOU! I just hope this time around it helps us all because harp 2 is great if you are backed by fannie or freddie ……. big problem though they forgot the rest of us who arent!


S. Kitchen-Ohl March 24, 2013 at 8:04 am

I’m in the same boat. I hope 3.0 passes for the many people in the same situation. The probability of the furloughs actually taking place just adds another reason for 3.0 hopefully becoming a reality this year.


Alabama March 27, 2013 at 7:15 am

I am underwater as well. I have been looking for options for over a year. Our current mortgage does not fall into qualify for the current HARP program. We purchased with several thousand in equity the the housing market plunged, subsequently we are now the same amount in the other direction.


Rhonda March 22, 2013 at 10:52 pm

If 3.0 passes would the date be extended as well?… The current cut off date is 6/1/09…missed the date by 9 days…hope they open it up.


Tracey March 22, 2013 at 9:55 am

We’re really hoping the HARP 3.0 passes. We’ve been in our home for 10 years and are responsible home owners & make our payments on time. No Fannie or Freddie, we are conventional. We did take out a second, but it was only a FRACTION of what the lenders wanted to give us. (Thank GOD!) We don’t want to lose our home, but at the same time, my husband has taken a pay cut and cost of living has gone up and my son and I have had recent diagnoses that have left us with overwhelming medical bills. It’s taking everything we have to keep it together.

The general consensus seems to be that people EXPECT help. WE DON’T. We know what we signed up for. What does upset us is that the government seems to protect it’s own butt and it’s the responsible parties that continue to suffer. Shouldn’t there be some program for people who are sticking it out, not filing BK, who are staying current, who aren’t short selling or trying to find a way out, but who just want to find a way to save their home?

We’re only upside down to the tune of about 40k. We’re hoping the values will come back up and until then, we continue to chip away at our principal and hope eventually, the chance to refi will become available.


Tracey March 22, 2013 at 10:02 am

Upon re-reading the article, it looks like even the 3.0 won’t help us as it’s still restricted to GSEs.


Kat March 12, 2013 at 12:24 pm

You know, I’m pissed off because I have a car loan for 21k and my rate is 5%. Now, people are getting rates in the 3%’s and I’m stuck paying 5% because I don’t have equity in my car to refinance. Gee, the government should do something to help me because I’m a victim. Not actually. I know what I signed, I agreed to it. It’s not anyone’s fault but my own for buying a brand new car and driving it off the car lot, causing it to instantly lose equity.

I think it’s funny people feel they deserve a lower rate just because the rates are now lower. You couldn’t see the future when you bought your home for way higher than what it was back in the early 2000′s? You REALLY thought it would hold it’s value and you’d be in a great equity position instead of losing value? And then, you take out the additional equity you do have and get yourself in a worse position? Come on people. A home is an investment. It rises and falls based on the economy. You took a risk and it didn’t pan out. Wait a bit, pay down your mortgage to lower than what’s it worth and THEN refinance. So sick of people with this victim menality. Be responsible for what you signed on the dotted line for! Ugh.


Sean March 14, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Except, Kat, if people lose their homes because they lost their jobs and the payments are too high, then we have a much larger problem. This ‘problem’ I speak of means a much, much higher unemployment rate which will destroy our economy and make YOUR house worth less and YOUR money less powerful and the prospects of YOUR employer much more bleak, which means YOUR job is more in jeopardy. You Republicans can’t see the forest for the trees. If it doesn’t affect you directly you can’t understand how anyone else could be in a tough predicament. You think that if someone is struggling financially they must be some ignorant moron who did it to themselves. And for the record, I am NOT someone whose house is underwater, I just have the ability to see beyond my own situation and use something called logic and reason.


Jason Van Steenwyk March 14, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Sean, are you familiar with the term “moral hazard?”


Ryan March 16, 2013 at 11:37 am

Unfortunately your comment is illogical. These people aren’t losing their homes, in fact, they must be current on their mortgage payments. This indicates that they have a steady job. If they don’t have a job, then the new harp program will not work for them either. I am neither a R nor a D. I actually work in the mortgage industry and talk to these people every day. Kat is right, there is an expectation that they “deserve” this lower interest rate and lower payment. The thing destroying our economy is the uncontrolled printing of money, which was caused by the government (R and D alike) bailing out the “too big to fail” banks. It’s both sides fault and no one wants to take responsibility for their own actions. Plain and simple.


Kat March 23, 2013 at 1:09 pm

By the way, not a republican. I identify as a Democrat, but we’re not all the same in our thoughts. It’s not a political issue, it’s about taking responsibility. And I do understand that if there isn’t help, that it can impact the whole economy and me directly. I just think it’s funny that the big bad bank is to blame, when really it’s our society as a whole that got too greedy and caused the collapse; not just the big banks and investors.


Carla March 26, 2013 at 10:30 am

I am mad because no bank will refinance my underwater mortgage when I have a good job, decent credit, and a record of paying my current 8.85% mortgage for the past 7 years.

I can get out of all of this by just finding a reason why I need to move and walking away from this bad investment like so many others have done. The problem is that I want to do the right thing. This is only a victim mentality if I feel trapped into doing the “right” thing, instead of taking advantage of all options available to me, including legal but dishonourable ones.

People like me, the ones who have paid crappy mortgages for the past 6 years, are also the people who stayed employed and paid their taxes and bailed everyone else out. My taxes bailed out the banks, but the banks won’t even look at my totally reasonable request that they lower the rates that I am paying when I have proven to be a reliable credit risk.

That is what really makes me mad. I have been a giver and a taxpayer all my life, and now when I would like some help (not a bail-out, just the same rate that others are getting), I’m apparently a whiner because I am angry that no one will extend a hand.


Darren March 27, 2013 at 7:14 am


Everything cannot be reduced to a car analogy because the car is mobile. Houses are not. But, to play along, let us assume that the car is not mobile.

The government repealed Glass Stegall, which was implemented in order to prevent another financial collapse. It did a wonderful job preventing financial collapse for over 60 years. After its repeal, the banks became financial casinos and we had another collapse in less than 10 years.

Lets say that this collapse directly impacted the value of your financed car (again, pretend it is not mobile so that we can play along with your poor analogy). The collapse also caused the loss of your job. You work hard and find a new job in another state. If the government steps in to help make right what they screwed up to begin with, then you have options. Otherwise, you have to walk away and screw up your credit, which will directly impact your ability to get a job going forward.

Stop watching the Faux News already. I’m tired of these programmed, dog whistle responses from the people who watch it. You have no ability to understand the situation and, yet, you still chime in with irrelevance.


Kim March 11, 2013 at 7:29 am

I couldn’t agree more!! We are stuck with a 8% interest rate!! We need Harp 3.0 to pass. Our mortgage is with HSBC (not backed by Fannie or Freddie) and they are awful!! Praying hard this Bill passes for all of us that are stuck in high interest loans and are out of options at this time!!


Vamsi March 15, 2013 at 6:07 am

If I am reading this correctly, it is still not helping for Non Fannie freddie, am I the only one understanding like this? I am with Citi not backed by these 2.
Do I have any hope?


Jesse August 26, 2013 at 10:56 am

Where did you read this? Every web site that I’m reading says Harp 3.0 will help people NOT BACKED by Fannie or Freddie.


Onuaku Iwugo March 10, 2013 at 6:49 am

It would be helpful to include those of us whose mortgage is not backed by Freddy/Fannie . It is a crying shame that these banks have completed refused to refinance us despite good credit history, on time payment, etc. I think it is criminal for me to continue paying 6.25 percent while others are paying 2.8 to 3.8 percent interest rate.


Mike March 7, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Don’t understand how this June 2009 date came about and what is this date trying to achieve. Almost 4 years have past since this date and you still are not allowed to re fi./ This makes no sense !!!!


Cory March 7, 2013 at 10:14 am

It’s really upsetting to watch people benefit from programs who never should have qualified for a home in the first place. I watched co-workers and friends just walk away from their obligations and turn around and buy another home. I really can’t believe there’s nothing out there for the responsible consumer. Should we all stop paying are mortgages? The economy depends on individuals like us to keep things afloat, but we never get anything in return.


D March 11, 2013 at 8:25 pm

How is that possible? Wouldnt their credit rating go down?


Jesse August 26, 2013 at 11:00 am

There’s more to walking away then you make it out to be. If you walk, you have to secure yourself a place to stay for 7-10 years, use only cash for everything, and hope the banks will approve a loan for you to buy a another house in the future. And who’s to say the interest rate won’t be just as high as the one you have now? Or maybe higher even.


greg March 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Here’s what myself and tens of thousands of others don’t get. Myself for example, I have a first and a second mortgage. I have 770 credit score, have never had a late payment on anything, especially my mortgage, make bi-weekly mortgage payments,w/ an additional monthly payment, but did my last refi in Oct 2009. I don’t qualify for a reduced mortgage rate or refi under the HARP program or any other. My goal was to reduce my mortgage years to save money in the long run, which I did, but because I was 4 months on the other side of the HARP rules and am even on my mortgage, I don’t qualify. Please tell me how this makes sense? Who’s the Einstein who came up with the June 2009 deadline and has there even been any talk about lifting the 6-09 date completely. My mortgage broker can’t even find out who came up with the date. I guessed it was a group of gazillionaires sitting around drinking and threw a dart at that date? I can’t believe that issue, as simple as it seems, has not been addressed.


George March 7, 2013 at 8:54 am

I’ve read bill govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/s249 that was reintroduced by Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Sen. Barbara Boxer of California. On page 2 it states (B) was originated or refinanced on or before May 31, 2009, unless that date is extended by the Director under FHFA’s preexisting authority to do so;
On the next page 3 it states the following:
(4) the terms ‘‘FHFA’’ and ‘‘Director’’ mean the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Director thereof, respectively;
I went to the website: fhfa.gov and found through a few quick clicks that the Acting Director is Edward DeMarco, his e-mail is Director @ FHFA.gov, his phone 202.649.3801 and his FAX 202.649.1071. Let’s all get on the phone, fax, e-mail, and get him to extend the date for qualification. I’m in the same position as you, almost identical in every case. Let’s be proactive and start a petition, etc.


Sam March 8, 2013 at 8:18 am

Emailed him. Thanks for the suggestion. So frustrated as all of you are.


George March 11, 2013 at 8:21 am

You’re welcome. It’s in Edward DeMarco’s hands.
Thsi guy’s a pure bureaucrat, does what’s good for the economy. A lot of good has been doen by the FHFA since he was appointed by Bush during the crisis. I’ve seen articles that have him pushing the date back to December 2009. Not him quoted, just the typical talking heads in the mortgage industry saying these things so that they’ll get business. As soon as I see some concrete evidence I’ll post to this blog.


Analyst April 3, 2013 at 9:11 am

This is some great research work, George. Thank you. This has been the one and only roadblock for many of us and it’s frustrating.

BILL March 13, 2013 at 8:46 am

No Gazzillionaire made decision. The government bureaucrats made that decision. This is what we get when we’ve got people that don’t know business making business decisions. There are some changes coming April 1 to FHA loans that again were made by bureaucrats that’s going to inflict even more pain on borrowers for the life of their loans. Government shouldn’t be in business when they know nothing about what their doing.

If you don’t agree with that they you obviously haven’t been to Russia or any European country.


Matt March 6, 2013 at 2:44 pm

My Fannie mortgage is not underwater and I already refinanced after May of 2009. Current HARP 2.0 rules prevent me from refinancing. IF this bill passes would the date restriction be eliminated?


Dennis March 6, 2013 at 1:46 pm

My Freddie Mac Loan originated June 1,2009. It appears the date will not moved to the right. Dosen’t help me.


Gary March 6, 2013 at 1:36 pm

What will the eligibilty date be for this bill be? Will you be able to refi even if you have done so after June of 2009?


Shannon March 5, 2013 at 11:43 pm

I can’t believe private loans (non Freddie and Fannie) have been silently dropped. what are we supposed to do?


Jamie March 5, 2013 at 3:40 pm

what about lifting the requirement of your loan being backed by Fannie or Freddie?


AB March 5, 2013 at 4:41 pm

My understanding:
1. No Fannie/Freddie requirement.
2. No income verification.
3. Credit 580+, which is very low.
4. If you have a first and second (HELOC) your second will not get refi’d, but your first will stay a first (not lose position to the second).
5. Currently there is a pilot program in Portland County only, not necessarily the final program, but a test run. It has a 5% 30 yr or 4% 15 yr package. Again, that might not be the final program.

Best of all: See the plan in action, the pitch:


Jason Van Steenwyk March 7, 2013 at 10:46 am

Hello, and thanks for reading! There’s no formal credit score cut-off. That would be something imposed by lenders, not by the law.


DW March 7, 2013 at 10:22 pm

The youtube clip you have there was for the bill Senator Feinstein was introducing but currently is not going anywhere. The bill that is currently being introduced is the bill from Senator Boxer. From my position, Senator Feinstein’s bill would be so much more helpful.


Sarah March 6, 2013 at 7:32 am

as I understood it Jamie, the original plan for 3.0 WAS to expand to cover non Fannie Mae and Freddie MAc mortgages. Looks like that’s gone by the wayside based on what I read here :-(


DW March 7, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Mortgages that are not backed by Freddie or Fennie is being ignored by this bill!!!
I just wrote an email to Senator Boxer. Please lets all do the same so we can all be able to REFI!!!
Here’s the link to her email:

Here’s some verbiage I wrote:
“I’m writing to you in the hope that you will include and add the folks who are still being ignored by the bill you have recently introduced.
We have been locked out of refinancing due to our mortgage being underwater. Our mortgage is NOT backed by Fennie or Freddie and lender is XXX. We have made numerous attempts to contact the lender, but still,no productive response has been given to us. We’re extremely frustrated with our lender and refinancing programs as we have hopelessly watched from the side lines. We have paid on time every month and have never missed a payment. We try our very best and work hard to honor our commitments. For that, we’re continuously getting punished.
We appreciate and support you in any effort you make to include us in the bill you are introducing.”


Vamsi March 14, 2013 at 9:13 am

I just left a message, People without Fannie or Freddie do the same..


Robert Haynes February 19, 2013 at 6:30 pm


Thanks for the update and laying out what’s in this bill. I know many consumers would like to see this passed.


Tony Maciel February 25, 2013 at 12:04 pm

This bill is needed, to keep up with the recovery of the housing market.


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