If you're underwater on your conforming, conventional mortgage, you may be eligible to refinance without paying down principal and without having to pay mortgage insurance.
Here are the details of the government's new HARP refinance program.
What Is HARP?
HARP was started in April 2009. It goes by several names. The government calls it HARP, as in Home Affordable Refinance Program.
The program is also known as Making Home Affordable, the Obama Refi, A Better Bargain For U.S. Homeowners, DU Refi Plus, and Relief Refinance.
In order to be eligible for the HARP refinance program :
1. Your loan must be backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
2. Your current mortgage must have a note date of no later than May 31, 2009
If you meet these two criteria, you may be HARP-eligible. If your mortgage is an FHA, USDA, VA or a jumbo mortgage, you are not HARP-eligible.
Underwater FHA mortgages can be refinanced via the FHA Streamline Refinance program. Underwater VA mortgages can be refinanced via the VA IRRRL mortgage program (VA Streamline Refinance).
Underwater USDA loans can be refinanced via the USDA Streamline Refinance program, which is available in most states