Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)

DEFINITION of 'Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)'

A mortgage-refinancing program offered by the Federal Housing Finance Agency to homeowners who own homes that are worth less than the outstanding balance on the loan. Homeowners eligible for Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) loans have mortgages owned or guaranteed by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae that were sold to either Fannie or Freddie before May 31, 2009.

BREAKING DOWN 'Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)'

The 2008 financial crisis affected real estate values across the United States and led to some homeowners being underwater or near-underwater on their loans.To help homeowners refinance and avoid foreclosure, the federal government launched HARP in 2009.

The loan is available to homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments, thus excluding those who are already in foreclosure or have walked away from their properties due to negative equity. Homeowners can refinance through their existing lender or through a different lender participating in HARP. The program is available for properties that are primary residences, as well as for second homes and investment properties.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Hope For Homeowners

    A federal aid program aimed at helping homeowners who reside ...
  2. Underwater Mortgage

    A home purchase loan with a higher balance than the free-market ...
  3. No-Appraisal Mortgage

    A type of home loan used for refinancing for which the lender ...
  4. Right Of Foreclosure

    A lender's ability to take possession of the property used to ...
  5. Jingle Mail

    A situation where a homeowner mails his or her house keys to ...
  6. Mortgage Modification

    A permanent change in a homeowner's home loan terms that makes ...
Related Articles
  1. Options & Futures

    Avoid Foreclosure: How To Handle An Underwater Mortgage

    Foreclosure is the biggest fear of any struggling homeowner. These tips just might save your credit rating.
  2. Home & Auto

    Mortgage Options for Underwater Homeowners

    Find out what options are available when your mortgage is greater than the value of your home.
  3. Budgeting

    Will You Break Even On Your Home?

    Calculate how much your property will need to appreciate to cover the costs of owning it.
  4. Home & Auto

    How To Delay Foreclosure

    While losing a home can be a traumatic event for you and your family, it's best to find ethical means of delaying or avoiding foreclosure, even if it takes more time.
  5. Home & Auto

    Refinancing Your Mortgage Isn’t Always Worth It

    The housing industry has experienced its share of ups and downs over the last few years, but one bright spot has been affordable mortgage rates.
  6. Insurance

    Insurance Tips For Homeowners

    Use these simple ideas to save money and get better coverage for your house.
  7. Investing

    Learn How To Lower Your Second Mortgage Rate

    Make a second property more affordable by taking advantage of low mortgage rates to refinance it.
  8. Home & Auto

    Your Mortgage: When It's Time to Walk Away

    Mathematically speaking, walking away can sometimes be the most prudent choice. Find out how to run the numbers.
  9. Home & Auto

    Reverse Mortgage Pitfalls

    Before tapping your home equity, find out what can go wrong.
  10. Credit & Loans

    New Rules May Make It Easier to Get a Mortgage

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have come to terms with lenders on how to solve mortgage disputes. This could be good news for people with lower credit ratings.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are the best ways to pay off my mortgage quickly?

    Learn how mortgage payments may be reduced and how to save thousands on mortgage loans by lowering the interest and principle ... Read Answer >>
  2. What's the difference between short sales and foreclosures?

    Understand the difference between a short sale and a foreclosure; both result in the loss of a home, either through a sale ... Read Answer >>
  3. Is homeowners' insurance required by law?

    Learn why it is always wise to protect your home with insurance even if it is not required. Understand how high-deductible ... Read Answer >>
  4. What are the requirements to apply for a reverse mortgage loan?

    For homeowners of a certain age who wish to stay in their homes but are finding it costly, a reverse mortgage could be the ... Read Answer >>
  5. What's the difference between renter's insurance and homeowner's insurance?

    Renters insurance and homeowners insurance offer similar benefits for occupants and homeowners, but in different ways and ... Read Answer >>
  6. Why does the loan-to-value ratio matter?

    Learn how the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is calculated, and why this metric is important to lenders when evaluating a home ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. MACD Technical Indicator

    Moving Average Convergence Divergence (or MACD) is a trend-following momentum indicator that shows the relationship between ...
  2. Over-The-Counter - OTC

    Over-The-Counter (or OTC) is a security traded in some context other than on a formal exchange such as the NYSE, TSX, AMEX, ...
  3. Quarter - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4

    A three-month period on a financial calendar that acts as a basis for the reporting of earnings and the paying of dividends.
  4. Weighted Average Cost Of Capital - WACC

    Weighted average cost of capital (WACC) is a calculation of a firm's cost of capital in which each category of capital is ...
  5. Basis Point (BPS)

    A unit that is equal to 1/100th of 1%, and is used to denote the change in a financial instrument. The basis point is commonly ...
  6. Sharing Economy

    An economic model in which individuals are able to borrow or rent assets owned by someone else.
Trading Center