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Millions of “underwater” homeowners are wondering, “will HARP 3.0 pass”?
Just as the government’s popular Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) has made news recently with the announcement that the program will be extended through 2015, the equally popular Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) has also been under consideration for sweeping changes that would make more underwater homeowners eligible to refinance their mortgages without having to take out expensive private mortgage insurance.
Initially implemented in 2009, HARP is in its second iteration – HARP 2.0 – and has reached millions of struggling homeowners who’ve found it difficult to make their mortgage payments, especially as housing prices plummeted in recent years.
With experts forecasting a “HAMP-like” extension of HARP to 2015, new proposed legislation called the responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act of 2013 (a.k.a., HARP 3.0) would expand the program and make it more accessible to a greater number of homeowners.
Although HARP 3.0 seemed likely to pass earlier in the year, recent economic data has been much more promising and the housing market has seen considerable growth, both in terms of number of sales and increasing prices. Both of these factors mean it may make the legislation more difficult to pass without significant changes, if at all.
Most significantly, rising interest rates and the sheer number of underwater homeowners in need of assistance bode well for the likelihood of HARP 3.0 becoming a reality, very soon. Being a great program, that’s helped a lot of homeowners, we sure hope it does!