Greenwood Credit Union (GCU) is offering the new federal for home refinancing, the Home Affordable Refinance Program, known as HARP. The program is specifically focused on expanding the options for those borrowers who have been unable to refinance their homes, due to declining real estate values.
Noting that many homeowners were ‘underwater’ – meaning ineligible to re-finance their homes at today’s lower mortgage rates because they owed more on their mortgage than their home was worth, Jerry Leveille, senior vice president and chief lending officer at GCU, said, “We see a tremendous opportunity to help homeowners now. And, we’re pleased to be among the first, if not the first, locally, to offer families the opportunity to take advantage of these new provisions. Bottom line: More borrowers than ever before will be eligible to pay less for their monthly mortgage.”
Eligible borrowers are those with mortgages owned or securitized by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which have adopted these changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program. Steve Johnson, who recently joined the GCU staff as a mortgage originator, will be responsible for educating homeowners about the offer, as well as helping to determine who qualifies for it.
In citing an example, Leveille refers to 2006, where homes were financed at 80 percent of their value. Today, those homeowners could easily find that their mortgage is well over 100 percent of the value of the home. Unfortunately, many of those homeowners were unsuccessful in their attempt to refinance.
Under the new HARP guidelines, the maximum LTV (loan to value) ratio is unlimited, which means that the Greenwood Credit Union has greater capability to work with the family whose home mortgage rate is even in excess of 120 percent of its value. This refinancing offer is effective immediately.