HARP - Articles

Have Government Programs Helped Homeowners?

The national housing market is seemingly improving all the time, but unfortunately for many homeowners across the country, negative equity is still a significant burden that can lead to large amounts of stress and financial difficulties. However, government programs still continue to help these people to better deal with... Continue Reading »

Government's HARP Program Has Been Extended

By Vera Gibbons The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced the extension of the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, through the end of 2015. HARP is one of two government programs aimed at helping homeowners who are current on their mortgage -- but have little to no equity -- to refinance their mortgage at a... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Refinance Boom Still a 'Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity'

There isn't much written about the issue in the national media, where the focus is on gun violence and fiscal cliffs, but the U.S. is in the midst of a mortgage refinancing boom that should continue well into 2013. According to the Washington, D.C.-based Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly applications survey,... Continue Reading »

Government Housing Help Benefits 1 Million Homeowners in 3rd Quarter

For much of the last year, the housing market has generally been on a slow but steady path toward improvement, and that trend continued in November. A number of federal initiatives to make consumers struggling in the housing market more financially capable seem to be working, according to the latest housing scorecard from... Continue Reading »

New Warning on Mortgage Mods: Demand for Up-Front Fees Is a Sure Sign of a Scam

The housing market has been slowly recovering for most of the year, but the fact remains that millions of Americans are still underwater when it comes to what they owe on their mortgage versus the value of their home. As such, many may be looking for some relief, and scammers are now preying on that need. In recent weeks,... Continue Reading »

Romney's and Obama's Housing Policies: Why the Candidates Seem Reluctant to Go There

It may seem hard to believe, but this year's presidential candidates have mostly avoided discussing an industry that's largely responsible for the last five years of economic pain. That may be because, for President Barack Obama and GOP White House hopeful Mitt Romney, the subject of housing remains an extremely... Continue Reading »

HARP Now Expected to Reach Twice as Many Homeowners

By Jon Prior The expanded Home Affordable Refinance Program will likely reach more underwater borrowers than its architects originally thought. "We said we would double the number from what we've already done under HARP, which would mean we'd do another 900,000 under the expanded program. I think we're actually trending... Continue Reading »

Bernanke: Fed Should Help Turn Foreclosures Into Rentals

Most of Washington's initiatives to staunch the flow of foreclosures glutting the housing market have been woefully inadequate. (We're looking at you, HAMP, HAFA and HARP). But a new idea put forth by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke might actually make a dent in the bank-owned backlog: Allow renters to move into... Continue Reading »

Obama's Refinance Plan: Who Will Benefit?

WASHINGTON -- Today's record-low mortgage rates are out of reach for millions of U.S. homeowners who would benefit from them most. One in four homeowners with a mortgage -- 11 million people -- owe more than their home is worth. These "underwater" borrowers have virtually no shot at refinancing. Their plight is a drag on... Continue Reading »

Viewpoint: Obama's Drop-in-the-Bucket Idea for Housing

Let's hold off blaring the triumphant trumpets just yet for President Obama's plan to allow holders of underwater loans to refinance at a lower rate through revisions in the Home Affordable Refinance Program. What this change does is amend the loan-to-value ratio in a refinance. By removing the cap on how upside-down you... Continue Reading »

Obama's Refinance Plan Explained

By Nick Timiraos The Obama administration is revamping a program that's designed to let more homeowners refinance their mortgages even if they don't have any equity. This isn't a new program, but instead attempts to turbo-charge an existing federal initiative called the Home Affordable Refinance Program. Here's a look at... Continue Reading »

Housing Market 2011: As Rough As 2010

Looking back on 2010, the year in real estate was, in a word, terrible. Property values continued to fall, foreclosures rose, and even the lowest interest rates in 50 years seemed to have little positive effect on the property market. For U. S. real estate, 2010 was the year of failed government intervention where nothing... Continue Reading »

Housing Market Forecast: Recovery's Hot, Cold Spots

Everyone wants to know how quickly their house price will recover, now that we appear to be at or near the bottom of house prices. New data suggests that U.S. house prices will go up an average of 3.1 percent a year between now and 2020 -- but not everywhere. Moody's Analytics came to the conclusion using data regarding... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Refinancing: Why Borrowers Aren't Playing HARP

It's not every day that a successful investor takes the national stage to suggest that he should lose billions of dollars for the greater good. But that's what Bill Gross of the bond giant PIMCO did last week at the Treasury and HUD conference on the future of the housing finance system. Gross unleashed a bold proposal... Continue Reading »

What's Next for Busted Condo Projects?

Now that the owners of Stuyvesant Town have defaulted on their $3 billion mortgage, it's worth asking what happens next to all the overleveraged apartment buildings and see-through condo projects out there – the remnants of many urban developers' ambitious boom-era dreams. In a new article for The American Prospect... Continue Reading »

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