Convince HARP-Eligible Homeowners
to Refinance their Mortgages Now
Once again, the reports of HARP’s death are premature. The filing deadline for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) has been extended one last time, to December 31, 2018.
We’ve seen several HARP modifications and deadlines come and go, but this time the deadline may be real. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has already set up programs through Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to overlap with HARP in 2018 and eventually replace it. The odds are good that HARP-eligible homeowners will only have a bit over a year to refinance under this program.
Low Interest Keeps HARP Viable
Can there still be people who qualify for HARP but haven’t taken advantage of the program? Yes, according to the FHFA. The agency estimates that 143,000 homeowners still meet the loan origination criteria (on or before May 31, 2009 with 80% or greater loan-to-value [LTV] and Fannie or Freddie backing).
By definition, time is running out – because as time goes on, fewer people who meet the date criteria will have LTVs above 80%. The main reason it continues is that interest rates are still low, making refinancing of these older loans a viable alternative for homeowners.
A Change in Focus
The replacement programs, Freddie Mac’s Enhanced Relief Refinance and Fannie Mae’s High Loan-To-Value Refinance Option, have a slightly different focus. The current plan is to target homeowners with 5% equity or less, including underwater homeowners, while steering those with greater than 5% equity toward other programs.
These programs also shift the date limit to loans originating on or after October 1, 2017.
HARP-eligible homeowners may mistakenly think that once HARP is retired, they will simply become eligible for the new program. It’s important to make sure that your customer base understands that the upcoming changes shut them out.
With some research, you should be able to identify potential HARP-eligible clients within your market. Create a targeted marketing campaign to reach out to them.
Remember that if they still qualify for HARP and haven’t taken advantage, there’s probably a good reason. They may still have highly damaged credit, they may be skittish after their experience during the housing crisis, or they may not understand the opportunities that a refinance offers.
You’ll have to do further research within your own market, and find the right blend of education and persuasion that brings these customers forward to take advantage. Emphasize that time is running out. Call (310) 209-8600 to see how LeadPoint can help you reach HARP-eligible homeowners.
HARP Equals Opportunity
The government keeps extending the HARP program for a reason – because despite the extended time that HARP has been in effect, there are still many homeowners out there who could benefit from the program. There’s a good possibility that some of them live within your area and fit within your target market.
If you participate in the HARP program, you have a final chance to let these potential customers know that a savings opportunity exists. That also translates into a business opportunity for you. Are you prepared to take advantage of it?