The original Home Affordable Refinancing Program (HARP) was intended to help homeowners struggling with mortgage debt refinance their home, before the risk of foreclosure sets in. While it was able to reach some, the early numbers were disappointing at best. However, the revised HARP 2.0 program is, so far, looking to be doing a much better job at offering mortgage debt relief.
Some of the original HARP guidelines were changed in the 2.0 version, allowing for the program to reach a broader spectrum of homeowners in need. Under the new program, refinancing can be offered to homeowners well above the previously held 125% mortgage debt cap. Even homeowners who owe more than 125% on the loan-to-value ratio may now be eligible for refinancing under HARP 2.0. Equity and credit score requirements have also been relaxed in order to include more of those suffering under financial hardship. Several other notable changes are what is leading to the reported success of this new program.
As of May, more than 78,000 home loans were refinanced under HARP 2.0, which is more than were reached in the entire year in 2011. 1.3 million borrowers were helped by the foreclosure prevention program and another estimated 1 million could still be reached. The HARP 2.0 program is being considered a success and the U.S. Senate is considering a bill to further expand HARP, which could reach as many as 17.5 million more borrowers.