HARP stands for Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). With the housing market in flux, the government created a program that helped homeowner’s who either did not have enough equity in their homes for a traditional refinance or who were having problems making payments on their current mortgages because they were so upside down.
There are many names for the refinance program “the Refi Plus” or “DU Refi Plus” (DURP) program. The parameters of the program are that it allows the refinance of a 1st mortgage up to 105% of the appraised value of the property. It also helps junior liens subordinating to first for an unlimited combined loan to value. The Fannie program has similar pricing adjustments to a normal refinance program. You are able to refinance a Fannie loan with any Fannie lender offering the program.
The Freddie Mac version of the program is known as the “Relief Refinance Mortgage”. It does has a limitation on closing costs (it allows only $2,500 in closing costs), but there are fewer pricing adjustments. With the Freddie program, one more consideration is that your current lender has to work the refinance. As in the other programs, you may go up to 105% of the value of your home and junior liens may be subordinated. Loan modifications are also available under the HARP program.
The HARP deadline is scheduled to end on December 31, 2013.