How to Qualify for a Freddie Mac HARP Refinance on a Rental Property

I’ve written many times on HARP loans and found that the most confusing, complicated HARP loan is the Freddie Mac investment property refinance.  For the most part, Fannie Mae has made refinancing investment properties under HARP much easier than Freddie Mac.

 

Freddie Mac made the Same-Servicer HARP loan (the version only your current lender can do) extremely different than the Open-Access HARP loan (the version any Freddie Mac lender can do).  This has caused misinformation resulting in homeowners being turned down for a loan they should qualify for.

 

In this post, I’m going to discuss some of the pitfalls related to refinancing a Freddie Mac HARP loan on an investment property and how to avoid them.

 

PITFALL #1- My lender tells me HARP is only for a property I live in

This is easily the most common reason homeowners are turned down.  For most homeowners, this is not true.  However, the lender may not participate in HARP loans for investment properties.

 

One of the reasons this happens is because homeowners usually call their existing lender for a HARP loan.  The Same-Servicer Freddie Mac HARP loan does not allow a homeowner to change occupancy, so if the loan was originated for a homeowner who later converted the property to a rental, they are ineligible for this version of HARP.  However, the Freddie Mac Open-Access HARP loan DOES allow for an occupancy change.

 

Another reason this may happen is if a lender simply chooses to not originate any HARP loans for investment properties.  Bank of America recently changed their policy and is only participating on any HARP loans for investment properties.

 

Here are some details of what some of the larger lenders can do.  I’ve gathered this information from the lenders directly when talking to some of their loan officers, so if this information is different than what you’ve heard, please let me know

 

  • Bank of America
    • Bank of America only participates in the Same-Servicer versions of HARP.  They also recently changed their policy to not do any non-owner HARP loans, even if the loan was originated as an investment property.  You must apply for your investment property HARP loan with another HARP lender.
  • Wells Fargo
    • Wells Fargo participates in both versions of Fannie Mae HARP loans but only participates in the Same-Servicer Freddie Mac HARP loan.  This means if your loan is backed by Freddie Mac, is serviced by Wells Fargo and you changed occupancy, you cannot get a HARP loan from Wells Fargo.  Also, if you are applying for the Same-Servicer version of Freddie Mac HARP, Wells Fargo offers this product to independent mortgage brokers who work with Wells Fargo.  Its worth shopping this loan with Wells Fargo and a Wells Fargo approved mortgage brokers.
  • Chase
    • Chase is the only large bank that I know of that participates in both versions of HARP for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  However, I have found that most Chase loan officers do not know the difference between the two programs.  They often turn down clients who ask for an investment property HARP loan backed by Freddie Mac due to a change of occupancy, not realizing that the Open-Access version is eligible.
  • GMAC
    • GMAC only participates in Same-Servicer Freddie Mac HARP product and the Fannie Mae HARP product that any Fannie Mae lender can do.  For the purpose of a rental property, this means GMAC cannot do a HARP loan on a Freddie Mac backed investment property where there was an occupancy change.  You will have to shop for an Open-Access lender.
 

One thing to note is that if you have changed occupancy, you would need to refinance under the Open-Access Freddie Mac refinance which is the same for every lender. This means that your current lender has no special ability to get your refinance through than any other Freddie Mac lender offering this program, so be sure to shop for your lender based on knowledge, service and price.

 

 
PITFALL #2- My lender says I’m limited to 105% LTV, but HARP says I can go to 125%.  Who’s right?

In this case, the lender often is right.  Even though HARP states you’re limited to 125% of the home’s value, all HARP loans not closed through the same-servicer product must be ran through a software program called an Automatic Underwriting System.  Freddie Mac’s program is called Loan Prospector or LP for short.  It doesn’t matter what the written guidelines say, if LP states your loan has too much “overall risk”, it will turn down the loan and the lender will not be able to close the loan.  In all the HARP loans I’ve closed, I’ve never seen LP accept an investment property loan over 105%.  I have seen Fannie Mae approve investment properties above 105%, but not Freddie Mac.

 

PITFALL #3- My lender says I don’t make enough money to qualify.

If you get this answer, this means the lender is attempting to close your loan under the Freddie Mac Open-Access refinance program.  This is because the Same-Servicer program does not calculate debt-to-income.

 

Please note that there are very specific guidelines on how to calculate debt-to-income on a rental property that most loan officers do not know how to do properly.  Loan officers who have experience working with investors or complex tax returns should be on your list of requirements when shopping for a lender.  If your loan officer doesn’t ask your for your lease agreement, mortgage statement and tax returns including Schedule E’s on the first call, they likely are not a good candidate to handle your refinance.  Calculated correctly, most rental properties are eligible for a refinance, even if the property receives a small rental loss per month.

 

PITFALL #4- My lender says I must have assets in my bank account.

This request, like #3, is likely due to a lender processing your loan as an Open-Access refinance.  This pitfall is 100% true, as Freddie Mac’s program LP, always asks for 6 months of payment reserves on rental property refinances.  Be prepared to show you have assets ready when you apply.

 

PITFALL #5- I’ve heard we don’t need an appraisal for HARP, but I’m being asked to order an appraisal.  Why?

Freddie Mac doesn’t always require a homeowner to order an appraisal when you do a Same-Servicer HARP loan, but if you changed occupancy and are applying for a Freddie Mac Open-Access, this program always requires an appraisal.  Be prepared to order an appraisal and expect the cost to be higher than a normal appraisal.  This is because appraisals for rental properties include a rent schedule which adds to the cost of your report.

 

PITFALL #6- I’m told I can only have 4 properties financed.  Is this true?

If you are refinancing a Freddie Mac investment loan on the Same-Servicer program, there’s no limit to properties financed but there is a limit to 4 on the Open-Access program.   If you have more than 4 properties with a loan on them, you can only refinance a Freddie Mac HARP loan if the loan was originated as a rental property originally and through your current lender on the Same-Servicer program.

 

If you changed occupancy and have more than 4 properties financed, you’re out of luck.

UPDATE

Recent HARP 2.0 guidelines have changed to allow your servicer to do these refinances.  Some lenders have been quick to update their guidelines but not all staff at these banks are aware that these changes have been implemented. 

In addition, the loan-to-value limts have been removed and you now can go over 125%. 

Please contact me if you would like a referral to a lender.

m4s0n501
189 comments to How to Qualify for a Freddie Mac HARP Refinance on a Rental Property
  • Bonnie

    The condo I live in is owned by my brother and is in Connecticut. The loan was originally with Wachovia (now Wells Fargo)for a 2nd home. It is now an investment property and I pay the rent and condo fees. He is a doctor with perfect credit, and a high income. Can we refi this loan (my rent and his mortgage payment would go down) The loan is now at 6%. The loan is about equal to the value of the condo at this point -maybe the loan is somewhat less.

  • Keane

    Bonnie,

    If your brothers income is enough to qualify, then you can do this. . You won’t be able to get the loan from Wells Fargo however. You need an open -access Freddie Mac lender. Email me if you would like a referral.

  • gamini

    Your web site is great, Keane.
    I have a rental home(no change in occupancy) with a mortgage from Wells Fargo (Freddie Mac owned). Can they do a same servicer HARP? I have 7 properties with mortgages (including primary & secondary residence).
    If they can do same servicer HARP, can they do LTV of 125%? (loan 197K, appraisal approx. 125K). I can pay down 45K-50K. I have high income, FICO 710-730, and high net worth.
    If they can’t do LTV 125%, I can’t afford to re-fi, bec. of larger pay down.
    Any options you can think of?
    thanks, Keane

  • Ming

    Your comment on refi was perfect. I had tried to refi for my income property which changed occupancy in 2010. I ran into every scenario you mentioned. Nobody had mentioned Open-access HARP. Thank you for great info. My mortgage company was CitiMortgage. CitiMortgage only does same-service refi for Freddie Mac.

    Do you have lenders that does open-access HARP?

    Thanks,
    Ming

  • New guidelines for HARP are coming. Here is my most recent post on the matter.

    http://www.keaneloans.com/2011/10/25/obama-gives-harp-a-necessary-boost/

  • Keane

    Gamini,

    You likely can refinance. What’s nice is Wells Fargo allows you to do the same-servicer Freddie Mac HARP refinance through a broker, so you don’t have to call Wells Fargo. You may get better rates or better service. I do know someone that works at Wells Fargo also, so feel free to contact me for a referral if you would like one.

  • Keane

    Ming,

    If you can, please email me your state that the property resides in and I’ll be happy to pass along a referral.

  • Erin

    Keane,
    I emailed earlier before the HARP changes regarding refinancing my rental property. I had not heard back from Wells Fargo until today. I lived in the property at one time and now am an “accidental” landlord. Wells Fargo called me today and informed me of the new HARP requirements but said I don’t qualify bc the property is not owner occupied. I owe $70k on a HELOC but Wells Fargo said that wouldn’t be considered in my LTV with the refi. I am current on all my payments but really need to lock in a low interest rate bc I have an adjustable that is up in 5 years. What are my options since I do not live in the property anymore (it’s backed my Freddie Mac)? I am so frustrated bc I fall in the category you wrote about in the Wells Fargo section, Freddie Mac backed, rental property. Can I use another lender?

  • Keane

    Erin,

    Not only can you use another lender, you MUST use another lender. Freddie Mac has two versions of HARP, one for the servicer (Wells Fargo in your situation) or outside Freddie Mac lenders. Some people believe the servicer version has more options but it depends on the situation.

    In your situation, only an outside lender processing a Freddie Mac Open-Access refinance can do your refinance but you are eligible. Be sure to read the info on this post closely as it pertains very closely to your situation. Feel free to email me the state you’re in and I’d be happy to connect you with someone.

  • william hall

    i have a rental property in memphis,tn. The interest rate is 6.75% fixed. I owe 81000 and it’s worth around $70,000. The mortgage is with standard mortgage in New Orleans and backed by fannie/freddie. Can I qualify for any of these programs?

  • Keane

    William,

    It sounds like you can. You’ll need to find out if it’s a Fannie or Freddie loan then apply with a lender who participates in their HARP Program. Feel free to email me once you’ve found your results and I can refer you to a lender.

  • william hall

    it is a fannie loan. please refer me to someone.

    thank you

  • John

    Keane,
    Thank you for this post! We recently moved to a different city. We tried selling our home, but couldn’t afford the hit we would have taken, so it is now a rental property. Our lender is Wells Fargo, and I believe it’s a Fannie Mae loan. I was told that by Wells Fargo that we do not qualify for HARP because it is not our primary residence. Am I reading your post correctly that we actually do qualify? Should I contact our Wells Fargo mortgage consultant and tell him he is wrong?

    Thanks again,
    John

  • Keane

    John,

    It’s very likely that Wells Fargo won’t do it but another lender can. If it is a Freddie Mac loan, they definitely cannot do it.

  • John

    Thanks, Keane. How do I go about finding a new lender?

    Thanks,
    John

  • Keane

    John,

    Feel free to email me the state you live in and I’ll find someone qualified to help you.

  • Hi Keane – My freddie mac HARP loan went to underwriting and they said since it is 11.97 acres and over 10 acres (single family home), they have to send it to US Bank for underwriting. The appraised value is 470K and the loan is for 372K (I am asking for 380K to cover closing costs). My debt income ratio is OK and I have had the property rented for 2 years. I am currently on a 5/1 ARM which expires in 2013. Should I be worried now it is going to US BANK and got kicked out of typical underwriting? Thank you.

  • Shawn

    Keane

    What lender do you recommend for my investment property in Arizona that is serviced by Bank of America and backed by Fannie Mae.

    Thanks

    Shawn

  • Ryan

    Keane

    I am similar to some of the above in that I have a property that I am now renting out so there has been a “change of occupancy”. On time payments and I’m backed by Fannie Mae. My mortgage is through Wells Fargo, so the Open Access sounds promising. My question is, how does (if at all) PMI affect the Open Access Re-FI?

  • J.D.

    Keane

    I am in the same boat as Shawn, I have a rental property in Arizona serviced by Bank of America and held by Fannie Mae. Could you send a recomendation on a knowledgable lender?

    Thanks

    J.D.

  • Keane

    Ryan,

    The PMI is a tough hurdle to overcome. If your loan is backed by Freddie Mac, you’ll need to apply for an Open-Access. HARP 2.0 will start to allow you to work with your servicer on these scenarios but most lenders haven’t implemented them yet.

  • Keane

    JD,

    I’ll email you to send someone your way.

  • KC

    Keane,
    Great info–I have been told for years there is nothing I can do with 220k mortgage fixed at 6.75% on a investment property although I have excellent credit. The appraisal in 2006 was 370k but probably half of that now. Today I received this e-mail offer from the same lender the mortgage is with. Does this sound reasonable? Should I shop another lender? Thanks!
    Please complete the application, and provide the following ( last 2 yrs complete tax returns with all 1099’s, W2’s, last 2 paystubs…). Please provide last 2 months complete checking acct statements, copy of survey, title insurance, drivers license. As far as rate, it appears you will be near 4.625% to near 5% as there is adjustments for investment property, 2 units, then the normal HARP adjustment. I can lock in after the complete application along with appraisal fee and credit report is paid. Wells Fargo closing fees are $965. Of course, you have the typical doc stamps, intangible tax, title insurance(reissued), recording fees.

  • jill anderson

    Hi Keane – great news! I just closed the refinance for my rental property that would not make the 75% LTV needed for a investment property. I, too, moved from my primary residence in Colorado for a job and have to rent my former home. It appeared I couldn’t get financing even with stellar credit and assets which would pay for the loan if sold. Unbelievable. Without this website, I would NOT have known about the HARP. Communication from lenders, servicer, and other mortgage representatives needs to become more proactive in letting people know HARP “may be an option” rather than just telling you your LTV is too high and sending you away – even if they don’t, themselves, offer HARP. Well, thank you again and you’ve made a difference in my life with your answers and website!

  • Keane

    KC,

    It sounds reasonable. If your loan is serviced by them, make sure they can actually do it. Good luck!

  • Keane

    Jill,

    I’m glad to hear you got your loan done! Yes, unfortunately the information given isn’t always accurate but the more people are aware of the guidelines, the general awareness will improve. Congrats!

  • WOW!!! I am impressed. Helping all these folks and not asking for adime in return. I have been looking for info on this HARP program (in laymens terms) i could understand.
    I have 8 loans , 1 private, 3 held in house(kitsap bk and columbia bk) 1 personal(becu) and 2 with chase,1 with pnc.
    I read your standing on CHASE, what do you know about PNC motgage, do they do HARP loans?
    I contacted CHASE a month ago to refi, they said the new rules on HARP were coming out and they would have to see what the new guidelines were for investment property. ten I got another email shortly after, saying my loans(which wer originally with wash. mutual now takin over by chase) categorized as owner occupied and they didn’t think they would be able to do anything for me. I told him they have always been rentals for 15 years, and were refinced as such, then he comes back with you have over 5 loans.
    any advice?

  • Keane

    Jack,

    Your situation is unique. Here’s a few tips:

    1.) Freddie Mac only allows 4 properties financed on Open-Access
    2.) You shouldn’t have a limit on Fannie Mae properties
    3.) You can get your loan from other HARP lenders, but each loan will have a situation better suited for the servicer or another lender depending on the situation.
    4.) Chase, as a bank, offers more versios of HARP for their clients than any other large bank but you need a good loan officer who knows the guidelines for all four versions (ask me for a referral if you want a good loan officer).
    5.) Freddie Mac allows occupancy change on Open-Access but not the Same-servicer version. HARP 2.0 will change this but I don’t know any lenders who’ve adopted this change yet.

  • Hung

    Keane,

    I have a rental condominium with a ARM 5.625% with a balance of 349,000 backed by Freddie Mac serviced by Citi property value about 250,000. I looked into the HARP 2.0 and Citi told me my limit is a LTV of 125% but Freddie Mac website says there’s no limit if you go to a fixed rate, but Citi said i have to go to a 30 yrs fixed rate no option. They also told me that only they can provide a HARP 2.0 program. Is this true? Can I get another lender to refinance my loan using the HARP 2.0?

  • Georges Kaufman

    I was refinancing two investment properties with Fifth Third Bank (Fannie loans), which put up two roadblocks. 1) they said the property was titled to a corporation. I pointed out it was titled to a Land Trust, the corp was only the Trustee, and the title company could retitle to me just before the closing. 2) They said that’s not enough, they require it to be in my name for two years.
    Where does that come from ?? I believe they’re misapplying some old anti-flipping regulations. I’ve owned the properties many years.
    Any way I can talk some sense into them ?

  • Keane

    Hung,

    Most HARP 2.0 guidelines haven’t been implemented by lenders yet, so give it some time. I laid out the timelines here:
    http://www.keaneloans.com/2011/10/25/obama-gives-harp-a-necessary-boost/

    You should re-apply with Citi next year.

  • Keane

    Georges,

    Most investors won’t refinance properties in a trust anymore unless the loan was closed in a trust.

  • Tom

    Hi,

    I have an investment property house in Minnesota and live in California. Fannie owns the first mortgage on it according to the site and it is with PHH Mortgage for 145K. I also have a 5yr balloon second with a credit union for 50K and had it appraised about 2 years ago for 200K so I’m at about 97% LTV.

    Can you refer me to a lender because I don’t think PHH offers for investment property?

    I also have about 20K in cash for emergency fund and another 25K saved up and want to buy a primary residence here in California.

  • Sue

    Bank of America tells me it could be a couple of more months before they can begin taking applications for the HARP 2 program. I don’t know if I am just getting the run round.
    I have spoken to more than one mortgage representative.
    I believe that I should be eligible.

  • Keane

    Tom,

    Your scenario sounds ideal for a refinance as long as your second mortgage company is willing to subordinate their loan in the process.

    It shouldn’t restrict you from buying in CA.

  • Keane

    Sue,

    Changes always take time for lenders to adopt. From my contact at B of A, it sounds like B of A is open to making the new changes but they need time.

  • Sybil

    Hi keane,

    Thanks for your wonderful site. Anyway, I ran into the same roadblock. We had an unsavory tenant last year who bailed on his lease after a month and then threatened to sue us over an alleged condom he said he found (it’s a furnished rental) when we called breach on him. So our lawyer had us put the condo in a land trust to protect against future frivolous lawsuit threats or crazy tenants. Anyway, we just had our appraisal today and we just found out that they want us to take the title out of trust in order to proceed. So based on your previous comment, lenders will not refinance any property in trust? If so, can we just take the property out of trust and refinance or will there be another roadblock? I’m willing to take it out of trust but I don’t want to if I’m just going to be stopped later. Also, do you know what it would take to get title put in our name and out of trust? Can our loan officer help us with that? Our lawyer that set up the trust is no longer available. Thanks!

  • Lee

    Hi,
    Can you refer me to a lender in CT that can help with my situation? We would like to refinance the mortgage on our rental property to bring the monthly payment down. The property value is at or slightly less than what is currently owed on the mortgage.

    thanks!

  • Keane

    Sybil,

    Yes, unfortunately, Freddie Mac won’t allow the refinance under those terms.

    What a story!

    You’ll have to look for an estate attorney. If you’re in WA state, I can pass a referral to you.

  • Lee,

    Who services your loan? Is it a Freddie Mac backed investment property?

  • Wayne

    Keane,
    Thanks so much for your very informative website. I own a condo in San Francisco that was purchased as a primary residence in 2004 but has since been converted to a rental property. The loan is a Freddie Mac loan with B of A, who told me they can’t refinance due to the change in occupancy. The loan is within 100% LTV. It sounds like I may still refinance with a lender participating in the open access Freddie-Mac program. Can you recommend such a lender in the bay area?
    Thanks!

  • Jack

    I have moved from my primary residence/owner occupied home in AZ to GA for a new job. Therefore, I have to rent my home in AZ, the only property I have under my name. Can this rental property in AZ become an investment property, even if I don’t own any other property in GA?
    In addition, could you please refer me to a lender in AZ or GA that can provide open-Access HARP, allowing occupancy change for my property in AZ? Thank you.

  • Jack,

    Under Freddie Mac’s Open-Access program, you can refinance under HARP on your AZ property. I just emailed you about the referral you requested.

  • Wayne,

    That is correct, you can refinance. B of A is only participating in the same-servicer version of Freddie Mac HARP loans and currently does not allow occupancy change. Newer Freddie Mac guidelines are coming to allow this where B of A can do it but the Open-Access program is one where any Freddie Mac HARP lender can assist you.

    I’ll email you about the referral.

  • Jorge

    Hello, Have been carefully reading your posts and thank you for all the information. I wished I’d found this website before wells Fargo wasted my time with trying to refi my home in NC. Maybe you can refer me to someone who can help me who (as you describe above) knows what they are doing. Here’s my case. I moved to NC for a job in 2007 and I bought a home there through WF (backed by Freddie Mac). I quit said job and moved to FL for another in 2008 (almost an exact year after the closing on NC home). I bought another home in FL and kept the NC home rented to a friend of mine (gentleman’s agreement, we signed a lease for the first year but he has been “renewing” every year since with no papers signed). I have an interest only 7/1 ARM that readjusts in 2013 (currently @ 6.125) and a HELOC for second mortgage. I probably owe about 125k out of the 150k from the original loan, zillow suggests the value is on par with the debt. Any suggestions? Im trying to refi this thing before the ARM adjusts.
    Thanks!

  • Jorge,

    Yes, Wells Fargo cannot do your loan. Freddie Mac has changed their guidelines to allow occupancy changes but I confirmed that Wells hasn’t adopted these changes yet, so you need to apply through an outside Freddie Mac HARP lender through Open-Access. Your loan-to-value sounds reasonable and if everything else looks good, you are likely eliglble to refinance.

    Let me know if you want me to refer someone your way.

  • Jorge

    Thank you Keane, yes please a referral would be nice!
    Happy N Y!

  • Lance

    Hi Keane, :)
    Thank you so much for your help to everyone. I have a mortgage on a rental that we formally lived in from 2003 to 2008. It is a B of A loan that is freddie mac backed. They said that they weren’t going to be able to do the Harp, but suntrustmortgage.com said they would when 2.0 was finalized.
    I am in the Gulf Shores, Alabama area. Suntrust holds my primary mortgage, do you think they would be the best to go with or if not could you send me a referral for someone you think would be better?
    Thanks so much!
    Lance

  • kelly

    Hi was wondering if you could pass me some info or pass mine along looking to do HARP on my rental that is owned by Wells Fargo, I became an.” Accidental landlord” so I’m assuming I can’t refi with them I need a new lender.

  • kelly

    I’m in Pennsylvania forgot to mention that.

  • Lance,

    My experience with Sun Trust is that they are very limited on their HARP guidelines. They are even a little strict on loans currently serviced by them, which I thought was strange. They’re a very good lender but I haven’t seen them lighten their guidelines to qualify more homeowners.

    Most large national lenders are limited and mostly offer good products for loans serviced by them. I’ll email you someone you can talk to who should give you a few options to review.

  • Kelly,

    I just emailed you a referral.

  • Ryan

    Love the site and appreciate all the help. I have a loan through BoA for a rental property (was once my primary residence). It is backed by Freddie. BoA says I cannot refi through HARP since I got my original loan when it was my primary residence.

    I have 2 loans on the house – 30 year fixed + the second is a balloon loan…total mortgage value in the 260k range, I think the house is probably worth 250k (which should put my LTV right at 105%. I have excellent credit.

    I also tried Quicken and they said Freddie + condo = no go. Any ideas on who to work with? Wells Fargo? Open to recommendations or referrals.

    Thanks in advance!

  • Mark

    I have a rental property in Virginia. Mortgage is approx. $113,000 at 5.75%, with a second (HELC) with a balance of about $34,000. I am underwater by about $40,000. Any hope under HARP?

  • Mark

    My loan is held by Freddie, and I am in CA.

  • Steve

    Have a rental property in Los Angeles county – originally owner occupied condo through Countrywide (Freddie Mac 1st mtg balance about $180k with piggy back HELOC $80k – both serviced by BofA now). Probably worth about $150k. Heard about HARP 2.0 lifting the cap on LTV and investment properties qualifying. With good credit can I take advantage of sub-4% 30 year fixed rates via refi or are the adjustments prohibitive (BofA quoted some mid-range 5% rate with 3.5 points!)? Am I able to roll both loans into the refi or is HARP just for the Freddie 1st? Or am I better served trying to short sale?

  • Ryan,

    Yes, I would contact B of A again. The Same-Servicer product with Freddie Mac now allows occupancy changes and my contact at B of A has notified me they are adopting the new guidelines now. I’ll email you a contact.

  • Mark,

    If your loan is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, then you do have a chance. Have you checked yet?

  • Sorry, I see the 2nd post. Yes, you can apply through Open-Access and HARP 2.0 is now allowing the Same-Servicer product for Freddie Mac loans where occupancy has changed. Let me know who your servicer is (who you make your payments to) and I’ll find a lender for you.

  • Steve,

    How old is your B of A quote?! It should be much less than that now.

    B of A shouldn’t have been able to do this refinance until just recently (last couple of weeks). I would revisit the refinance with them.

  • Steve

    Can you forward me a specific contact at BofA who might help me out? – Steve

  • Lance

    Hi Keane,
    Could you email me a B of A contact as well? I’m in the same shape that Ryan is. I was told about a month ago they couldn’t do it, but if you have someone who can at B of A, that would be great!
    Thanks!
    Lance

  • Ralph

    Hi Keane –

    I have a total of 10 financed properties. In the past year, I’ve been able to use Chase’s (original servicer) streamline refinance program under HARP to refinance 2 properties (both owned by Fannie Mae). However, when I tried to refinance 2 additional properties (both owned by Freddie Mac and serviced by Chase), once again using Chase’s streamline program under HARP, I couldn’t get past underwriting (after the appraisals had already been completed) saying that Freddie was requiring an origination date of May, 2008 or earlier(both loans have origination dates of June, 2008) because of the greater than 4 property rule. I should add that there has been no change in occupancy on any of these properties nor are the homes “underwater.”

    In reading your write up (especially item #6), it now appears that Chase was perhaps incorrectly using the Open-Access program, rather than the Same-Servicer program that the properties fall under. You don’t mention loan origination limitations, so I’m not sure if that excuse was valid or not, but the explanation given to me was that the origination date deadline under HARP for those with up to 4 financed properties is the well-documented May, 2009 and that the deadline for those with greater than 4 (but not more than 10) financed properties is February, 2009 (Fannie Mae) and May, 2008 (Freddie Mac). From what I was told by the loan supervisor, Fannie allowed for up to 10 properties sooner than Freddie (which is why I was able to refinance the Fannie loans) and that when Freddie decided to similarly alter the # of property restriction, they implemented a different loan origination deadline as compared to Fannie, which left her perplexed as to why.

    Would love your thoughts on the above, as I’d like to get these properties refinanced without going the conventional route if possible – thanks much.

    Ralph

  • Mark

    Keane, I pay my mortgage through PNC. Thanks for your help.

  • Ralph,

    Chase is one of the few lenders who does all 4 versions of HARP.

    The Open-Access program does limit to 4 properties financed but the Same-Servicer Freddie Mac program does not. Your loan officer should know the difference between the two and if you applied for the Same-Servicer program, you should be eligible.

    If the loans were previously owner-occupied, the Same-Servicer program PREVIOUSLY did not allow occupancy change to a rental but it has since changed and you should be eligible now.

    I will email you a contact who may be able to help you.

  • Mark,

    Call PNC and ask for the Same-Servicer HARP program. Your loan-to-value is high and you’ll likely only be approved through the Same-Servicer program, meaning you must apply with PNC.

  • Tim

    Keane,

    You’re The Man. I have two loans I’d love to re-do. #1 – Florida, investment property worth $170K, mortgage $295K, 6.75% IO, adjusts 2013, owned by Freddie, serviced by Wells Fargo. #2 – Virginia, investment property worth $280K, mortgage $255K, 6.5% 30 yr fixed, owned by Freddie, serviced by Provident Funding (they told me they are NOT participating in HARP). I have 10 financed properties, excellent credit, good assets, the DTI ratio could be a little tight. Will HARP 2.0 allow me to refi these loans? If so, can you recommend a good lender experienced with complex tax returns? Thanks.

  • Rick

    Keane,

    I have an investment property with a 30 year fixed at 7% with $211k owed on the mortgage. The units are selling for approximately $140k. Assuming I can refinance using HARP, will I have to pay down the mortgage? If so, can you give me a “ballpark” range of how much? Also, I have excellent credit and a consistent, high paying job. Can I expect a rate below 5% for a new 30 year mortgage? Any other mortgage types you would recommend for a long term investment property?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  • Rick,

    If your loan is backed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, you may be able to do a HARP loan. The maximum you can borrow will depend on which version of HARP you are eligible for, which agency (Fannie/Freddie) is backing your loan and who you make your payments to. Sorry, there’s a big variance on what you can borrow on HARP depending on the factors I listed, so a ballpark is almost impossible to give.

  • Tim,

    Unfortunately, your Provident loan is not eligible. Open-Access only allows you to have 4 properties financed. Your Wells Fargo backed loan is eligible but Wells has to adopt the new HARP 2.0 guidelines. I would contact them after this March. I’ll connect you with someone at Wells.

  • Rick

    Keane,

    It’s a Fannie Mae backed loan and I make the payments through Seterus. I called Seterus and they said that they don’t know anything about refinancing an investment property using HARP. What should my next move be?

    Thanks, Rick

  • Rick,
    Seterus is just a servicer. You can refinance on Fannie Mae’s DU Refi Plus program.

  • Jennifer

    Thank you SO much for this post. I currently have my loan (year 6 of a 10/1 ARM at 5.875%) with Wells Fargo and they told me I do not qualify for refi under HARP. My situation: Home is in California and was my primary residence for 3 years. I now live in New York and the property is being rented. I have also lost my job and have only state unemployment and rent as my income. I tried to move my loan to Chase but they can’t accept me and Wells Fargo tells me I don’t qualify. Is there anything I can do? Thank you again! This post gives me some hope.

  • Jennifer,

    I’m assuming your loan is backed by Freddie Mac? Depending on your loan-to-value, you should be eligible.

  • Dana

    Hi there,
    I’m in the process of refinancing my primary residence with a HARP loan. There is a high chance that in the future (a year or two) I will look to rent out my home and move somewhere else. Will that require a modification to my mortgage?

    Thanks,

  • Dana,

    It shouldn’t. Just make sure you occupy the property now and preferrably, over a year. We all have life changes that may impact where we live but you do not want to sign a new loan with the intent of living somewhere else in a short period of time.

  • Ben

    There is an update at the bottom of the article alluding to HARP 2.0 changes. I have a mortgage on an attached condo through WF owned by Freddie Mac with a rate of 6.75%, 161,000 loan value, and something around 140,000 to 150,000 property value (just a guess). When HARP 2.0 ramps up, will I be able to do a Same-Servicer or Open-Access refinance (or either)? It’s my understanding that I can do Open-Access when HARP 2.0 comes out, but I’m not sure if Same-Servicer is a possibility. Thanks!

  • Ben,

    Yes, the Same-Servicer program does allow occupancy change. Let me know what state you’re in and I can connect you with someone at Wells who can help you.

  • Ben

    The property mentioned above is located in Louisville, Kentucky. Thanks!

  • Barbara

    I have two rental units in a cono complex that we’re purchase as rentals in July of 2005. Wells Fargo holds and services the loans that are backed by Freddie Mac. I live in Florida and the rentals are also in Florida. We have great credit and have always paid our mortgage payments on time. I am confused as to if wells Fargo is an option for me with harp 2.0 or if they are the only option. Both units are valued artless than the loan amount. Any guidance or referrals would be appreciated

  • Barbara,

    Wells Fargo should be able to do the refinances now. If any of the properties were originally a primary residence, they may have restricted your refinance.

    Now, they should be able to do it regardless. Let me know if you want me to get you connected with a knowledge loan officer at Wells Fargo. Thanks!

  • Dave

    I have tried to get a HARP refi- My service provider is Wells Fargo, I did a conventional refi with them and closed on May 4, 2009. I know Freddie is my loan holder. I was told that I do not qualify for Harp because Freddie did not have my mortgage by May 31, 2009. Wells will not tell me the date it was sold to them. I tired another service provider and was told the same thing, they too could not tell me a date Freddie took over my loan. Is they anyway to find out this date? Very frustrated that I may have missed by a few days.

  • Dave,

    Unfortunately, there’s no loopholes in this one. I do know the government has the funds to move this date but they’re focused on helping everyone who got a loan prior to this date first. Once they know the majority of people who fit this date deadline are helped, they may expand the eligibility dates if there are still funds left.

  • Ben

    Does Fannie Mae have an Open-Access program like Freddie Mac? Does it work the same way? Is it good practice to go a bank about refinancing rather than a mortgage broker? Good article. Thank you.

  • Ben,

    Fannie Mae has always allowed rentals on both programs. It’s wise to check both your servicer and outside lenders. Read my most recent post about HARP pricing and rates. If you qualify for both, it’s definitely worth shopping.

  • Annette

    Hello Keane,

    I have a dilemma regarding the Harp refinancing program.

    I have a rental property in California that is currently under water (Alameda County). Wells Fargo maintains the mortgage and Fannie Mae is the owner of the mortgage.

    The property was purchased in 1986 and has been refinanced twice via conventional 30 yr fixed.

    The mortgage is currently $255,000 with a 5.75% interest rate on a 30yr year fixed.

    We rent the property at a loss each month.

    Our credit is good with no late payments (mid 700s) and we have been told by Wells Fargo that we cannot do the harp refinance because Wells Fargo did not originate the loan.

    This seems very suspect. Is this true? How can we get around this? I’m not even sure who the initial lienholder was, but I don’t believe it was a large institution.

    Thank you.

    Annette

  • Annette,

    This is a lender overlay. You can refinance. Have you applied with any outside lenders? You do not need to work with Wells.

  • Tim

    For all you investors out there hoping for a HARP 2.0 refi, let me share my personal experience. I own 10 financed properties and have been trying to refi 4 of them using the HARP program. Here’s the rundown:

    Property #1 – LTV @ 90%, owned by Freddie. Serviced by Provident Funding and they’re not participating in HARP. Freddie allows unlimited financed properties for Same Servicer program but only 4 properties for Open Access so I can’t go to another lender. Guess I’m stuck with the 6.5% rate.

    Property #2 – LTV @ 120%, owned and serviced by CCO Mortgage. Not owned by Freddie or Fannie so not HARP eligible BUT they have an in-house mortgage relief program. I was offered 3.375% for a 7 yr ARM until they discovered I was an investor. Whoops. It’s only available for owner occupants. Investors not welcome.

    Property #3 – LTV @ 170%, owned by Freddie, serviced by Wells Fargo. Wells offered me a 30 yr fixed @ 4.875% until they discovered I had 10 financed properties. Although Freddie allows unlimited properties for Same Servicer program, Wells only allows 4 if subject is an investment property. Wells has an “LVAM” exception if the loan predates 8/1/08 which it does. But the exception only allows up to 9 financed properties (love to know how they came up with 9). I have 10. Freddie’s Open Access program excludes me (see #1 above). Looks like I’m stuck with my 6.75% loan.

    Property #4 – LTV @ 145%, owned by Fannie, originated by Bank of America and now serviced by Green Tree. I talked to Green Tree today. They won’t go above 125% LTV. I didn’t even get to the 10 property thing. Under Fannie rules, I can go to any lender and they allow unlimited financed properties. But based on #1, 2 and 3 above, I’m not real confident. I may just be stuck with my 1 yr ARM.

    I have an 800 credit score and have never missed a payment in my life. All these loans (with the exception of #2) are HARP 2.0 eligible according to the GSE rules. The moral of the story is this: the lenders all have their own overlays which are more restrictive than Fannie/Freddie, especially for investors that own lots of properties. If you’re in that category, don’t get your hopes up.

    There you have it.

  • Tim,

    You’re spot on regarding the guidelines.

    Property #3 I would talk more with Wells about the 9 properties financed and push harder. I think with enough push, you’ll get this one through.

    Property #4 Don’t judge too soon on this one. Fannie Mae has always been easier to get HARP loans approved than Freddie Mac. Especially on rentals.

    Let me know what state these properties are in. I wouldn’t count on #1 and #2. #3 is possible and #4 is highly possible.

  • Nick

    I have a condo unit that I rent out as an investment property. The LTV is about 115% right now and its owned by Freddie Mac. Am I able to get a HARP loan? Its my only investment property, but I was told anything more than a 4- unit residence is not eligible??

    Thanks!

  • Marge

    I hv a rental property in Florida that is a Freddie mac loan. The loan is from wells Fargo. Wf said we can only do the harp 2 with them. I read otherwise. Can you refer me to lenders?

  • Marge,

    You can do it with other lenders but it’s harder to qualify.

    Wells Fargo does let brokers broker a Freddie Mac HARP 2.0 loan to them which may yield better pricing. I’ll also connect you with a colleague I know there.

  • Ben

    Hi Keane, I just heard that HARP is limited to certain counties (at least in CA). Is there some truth to this? Thanks.

  • It’s not limited but the loan amount is limited to the current high-balance amount. If your Fannie/Freddie loan was originated under a previous high-balance loan that now exceeds the current limit for your county, you will need to pay the loan down to the current limit to be eligible.

  • Ben

    Keane, thanks for that info. So HARP is available in all counties. Is there a site I can learn about county limits? Thanks.

  • Nick

    Keane,

    Could you please respond to my previous post? Thanks

  • Nick,

    Sorry about that. I missed your question.

    The rule regarding 5+ units is if the loan is for the entire building. For instance, a 4-unit fourplex is acceptable. This is guideline is not for condos that have more than 4 units, rather it’s for people who may want to refinance a 5+ unit building (the entire building).

    Freddie Mac also does not allow people to refinance a rental if they own more than 4 properties on the Open-Access program.

  • Kim

    I am trying to refinance a Freddie Mac owned mortgage with NFCU as the servicer. The property has recently been changed to an investment property (Nov. 2011) due to the need to move to a bigger home and inability to sell. The LTV is slightly above 125%. What are my options? We have great credit and have never been late. I am hoping the revisions to this program will allow us to refinance our 6.625 % mortgage, since we are taking a substantial loss every month. I have recently read different opinions regarding the ability to refinance if occupacy has changed. Do you have any advice?

  • Marge

    Hi
    I wrote few weeks ago. You mentioned abt a colleague . Can I ask for his contact info? Thanks

  • Marge,

    I just emailed you a contact. Good luck!

  • Kim,

    If your servicer isn’t willing to refinance your loan, it’s very likely you can only apply for the Open-Access program. In general, Freddie Mac’s system has been limiting the loan-to-value on Open-Access but they are making modifications now to allow higher loan-to-values.

    What state are you in? I can connect you to a lender who can help you.

  • Kim

    Hi Keane,

    I am in MD. Thank you for the reply! This post is very helpful. I am hoping to get some type of relief. I appreciate any reputable contacts!

  • Paul

    Hi Keane,
    I have a 2nd home in FL with loan of $405K and current value approximately $200K (LTV of 200%). My current loan is owned by Freddie Mac, serviced by AHMSI. My income is high, credit is ~780-790, but my loan is an ARM and I am not building any equity. I would like to convert to a 30 yr fixed at current low rates. Would I qualify for a HARP 2.0 refi? and do you have recommendations for a bank or broker to work with in Lee County, FL (near Ft. Myers). THank you.
    Paul

  • Paul,

    I’m guessing that AHMSI is not willing to do the refinance?

    At that loan-to-value, it would be very hard to get approved through Freddie Mac’s Loan Prospector system. They’re making updates to loosen the guidelines but they’re not out yet.

    If AHMSI is willing to do the loan, they don’t have to go through Freddie Mac’s Loan Prospector system and will have a higher chance of getting approved.

  • William

    Keane –

    Great site! Thanks for the information.
    I have an investment property (no change in occupancy) that has a loan that is owned by Freddie Mac and serviced by Aurora Loan Company. Aurora does not do any refinancing, so I would like to refinance through HARP with another company. My LTV should be fine for HARP purposes — about 95% — and my credit and assets are good. Can you recommend a bank that would execute this refinance?

  • Monika Conrardy

    Hi Keane,
    What is your opinion on refinancing a non-recourse loan on a rental property? Wells Fargo called us that we would qualify for HARP and could save $250 a month. The Arizona house is under water. We bought it for 250K. Current value is around hundred thousand. The loan is 180K at 5.875% and we are 7 years into it. Wells is offering 4.62% with closing cost rolled in. We have excellent credit and not planning to walk away, but not sure if this savings is better than the “insurance” of what if something happens to our job or health?

  • AB CPA

    Hello Keane – WOW, amazing site you have here.

    Question regarding the currently changing LTV limits on the feddie mac open access harp refi for my investment property – do you have any word on the lenders that have removed the limit? How long does it typically take this type of rule change to be implemented?

    My property is around 135% and this is my only hurdle on this loan – but it sounds like changes are on the way that might help me.

    Thank you!!

  • AB CPA,

    Technically, there isn’t a LTV cap on Open-Access. However, Open-Access requires the file to be ran through the Freddie Mac underwriting engine (called Loan Prospector or LP). LP will evaluate the overall risk and if it thinks the file is too risky, it will reject the file.

    If you have a rental that has a high loan-to-value, it’s not uncommon for LP to reject it. Freddie Mac announced they are loosening the guidelines on LP to approve more people but 135% may still be too high.

    You can do a few things to make your loan look less risky to the LP system. The most common adjustment that seems to work is doing a shorter term loan. If it rejects a 30-year fixed, have your lender run it at a shorter term like a 25-year or 20-year loan. You may prefer a 30-year but if they only approve a shorter loan, it’s worth checking.

    Lastly, the “Same-Servicer” program from Freddie Mac is the exclusive HARP loan for your current lender. This doesn’t require the file to be ran through LP and if you meet the guidelines, you are eligible.

  • Monica

    Currently, which lenders will allow HARP refi’s on rental properties other than same service lenders? My credit union will not do a HARP refi.

  • Andy

    I tried refinancing under HARP2.0. This is condo and is investment property. The L2V ratio is around 200%, because of value property going down in that area. I have tried refinancing but was rejected, and I do not get definite concrete answer, and rejection basis is not very clear. I have excellent credit, never late on payments, and steady income. My lender is not even participating in this program yet,and not sure will ever. what are my options. Any inputs, much appreciated.

  • Paul

    Hi Andy, I am in very similar situation. I own a condo as a second home, value dropped significantly (SW Fla) so my LTV is ~200%, Freddie Mac loan before 2009, never late on payments, excellent credit & high income. Everything I read says I would be eligible under HARP 2.0 except I can’t find a lender to approve me (either because they don’t do condos, or 2nd home, or LTV too high for them). I will keep looking for a lender to participate and will update you if I find one.

  • Monica

    I hear Chase may be doing these soon….Stay tuned!

  • Andy

    I was told every lender will be using same system, in that case not sure which lender will refinance. It is important to know why lenders are not refinancing in this situation and what is the issue? Because other lenders will also give same reason and will be simply just waste of time for both lender and person trying to refinance.

  • Monica,

    Chase will only do loans serviced by Chase. If you need a Chase contact, let me know but they won’t help you if you’re loan is with another lender. I can also refer another lender to you if you like. Email me the state you’re in if you want a contact.

  • Andy and Paul,

    Your situations are harder since your loan-to-value is so high.

    HARP has changed to allow your current servicer to do the Same-Servicer program on a rental property, even if it was previously occupied. This is part of HARP 2.0, so check your current lender. Andy, it sounds like you’ve tried this and they’re not participating unfortunately.

    Here are a couple of tips that will improve your chances of getting an approval from Loan Prospector:

    1.) Lower your revolving balances and repull credit
    – Freddie Mac reads debt utilization in the overall risk analysis, so be sure to keep your balances low on your revolving accounts

    2.) Maximize your assets
    – Freddie Mac considers available assets as a compensating factor. Even if you don’t use the assets to pay down the loan, showing you have assets will improve your odds of getting approved.

    3.) Shorten your loan term
    – You may not want a 25-year, 20-year or 15-year loan, but it may be the only program you’re approved for. Showing Freddie Mac that you’re willing and able to get a shorter term loan will improve your odds of getting the systme to approve you.

    4.) Be patient
    – It seems that every 3-6 months, they make an effort to improve this program and help more homeowners. If your scenario seems dire, you may want to keep your ear to the ground and wait. Many people who were not eligible 1-2 years ago are now eligibile.

  • I would like a DFW Texas referral for a lender who can do the open access Freddie Mac loan and the fannie mae load. I have over 4 mortgages and have been unable to refinance for 10 years. Do the properties have to originally be fannie or freddie?

  • Jennifer,

    HARP loans need to be Fannie/Freddie. Open-Access will not work for your rentals because this program has a 4-property limit but you can refinance if you go back to your servicer.

    Fannie Mae doesn’t have a limit on their DU refi plus program. I’ll email you a contact.

  • Kelly

    Hi I have a “accidental” rental property that is mortgaged through Wells Fargo and was denied before for the HARP loan through Wells due to change in owner occupancy, in reading the q&a’s I see that your saying they have changed guidelines and Wells can now accommodate me?? If so Do you have a contact there who knows about the Harp program, I find they are hard to come by and want to go straight to someone who knows instead of filtering through multiple people. I appreciate any info you can provide me!!

  • Kelly,

    It used to be that Wells Fargo would let you do this through an approved broker or directly with Wells, but Wells just stopped with providing wholesale loans to brokers. You’ll have to work with someone who works at Wells directly. I’ll email you a contact of a good loan officer there.

  • Dave

    I was sent a notice in the mail by Wells Fargo stating that my property qualifies for a HARP refinance. It is a Freddie Mac mortgage. They are currently processing the HARP refi as a second residence application. I am currently renting the property out until I can retire there in a few years. Wells Fargo did not ask me if I was renting it out and I did not realize this was an issue until a friend of mine told me he didn’t think I qualified for a HARP refi. Is this true? Thanks.

    Dave

  • Dave,

    This may have an impact on your pricing but not your eligibility (anymore).

  • Tim M

    Keane,
    My HARP loan application was just rejected by Wells Fargo because they said the Government has a restriction that does not allow greater than 10 acres for the HARP program. We have 11.8 acres – mostly trees and our house. Our current mortgage is with Bank of America and Fannie Mae. We currently owe about 112% of the market value (best guess on market value) and have no PMI. Thoughts on how we might be able to re-mortgage to take advantage of current rates – taking into consideration that we have 11.8 acres?
    Rhetorical question but why would there be a restriction that says 11.8 acres can not refi but 10 acres can? From my point of view that seems really strange. We live out in the sticks and have the smallest lot of anybody around.
    Thanks,
    Tim.

  • Tim,

    The acreage restriction isn’t a Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac guideline. It’s a Wells Fargo overlay.

    I doubt BOA would care. Did you call them?

    If a lender gets an appraisal waiver, I think you should be able to find a lender pretty easily. Let me know if the state you’re in and I can pass along a name if you like.

  • Sandy

    We have 2 rental properties plus our home that we live in. We are refinancing based on the value of our home to pay off all the loans and get a lower interest rate. All our properties are in our Family Trust but Article 1 in the trust says that it can be revocable or irrevocable. They want us to take the properties out of the trust, refinance and then put them back in. Why should this affect all our properties since our home is what they appraised for the loan? I am confused.

  • Cindy

    We have condo in Florida that used to be our primary residence but now is a rental. We have a 1st mortgage of 200,000( at 5.875% ) and 2nd mortgage of 31,000( at 8.375% ) on the condo. The value of the condo is about 200,000. Our current loan servicer, Nationstar is quoting me 4.25% with $7500-8000 in closing costs plus our current escrow account would roll over into our new mortgage. They tell me that because we are at 100% LTV on the first mortgage and have the second mortgage we have a substantial closing cost due to few secondary market investors willing to back Investment condos in Florida due to the volatility of the market. Closing costs seem awfully high to me. What are your thoughts on this and do you have any referrals? Thank you so much.

  • Sandy,

    This is typical because Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac doesn’t have income/credit guidelines for the trust. It’s all based on the individuals guaranteeing the loan. You may be able to keep it in the trust the whole time but the trust would definitely need to be reviewed by a lender’s attorney.

  • Cindy,

    I can’t quote you a quote because I’m not licensed in Florida, but I can give some generic loan information.

    These loans have a price cap, meaning the adjustments they’re talking about are capped at 2% in fee, which usually equates to about .5% in rate. If a normal Freddie Mac HARP loan is 3.5%, this means the adjustments they’re discussing would bring your cost to 4% with similar fees. If you read my blog post titled, “HARP LOANS-Perfect for Investment Properties”, I discuss how this cap works.

    I would also read the post titled, “Why is my HARP rate so high?”. Remember that if Nationstar is your servicer, they may be the only company who can do the loan for you. This post may be applicable to you. I would read it and go from there.

  • Carol

    We have a mortgage on a home in Georgia purchased Dec. 2006, which use to be our primary residence. But we had to move for work, and we now rent it out. We purchased a new (less expensive) primary residence in another town which we paid cash for. Our rental’s 1st mortgage is with Bank of America and the 2nd is with CitiMortgage. We have lost at least 35k in value but need to refinance. The current tax value is about what we still owe on the two mortgages combined. I am not sure about the appraisal value. I have contacted a few local lenders and they say they cannot help because it is not our primary residence and our LTV is more than 80% which is their cut-off for rental refinance. Can you recommend how to find a lender willing to work with us?

  • Carol

    Also, the loan is backed by Fannie Mae.

  • Carol,

    I’ll email you someone. That sounds do-able. BOA won’t do it because they temporarily suspended doing rental loans.

  • Dave

    Follow-up to my previously submitted post on July 23, 2012 at 7:09 am:

    The HARP loan has been approved and they sent me loan docs yesterday for signing. One of the documents that requires signing in front of a Notary is a Second Residence Rider which specifically states “that if I rent out the home, place it in a rental pool, or have a property management firm control it then I will be in default of the loan.”

    This to me implies that rentals are not acceptable under HARP. I cannot in good conscience sign this document and I certainly don’t want Wells Fargo to deem me in default because I am renting the property out.

    Am I misunderstanding this? It is confusing at best.

    Dave

  • Dave,

    That document is only included if the loan was structured as a primary residence. It’s not included in the documents if it’s been originated as a rental property loan.

    If it was originated as a rental, the lender needs to redraw docs and remove that document or have you not sign it.

  • BJ

    I have a conventional mortgage on a condo in Louisiana that I purchased in August 2007as my primary residence. I ended up renting it out because I relocated to a new military duty assignment. I purchased another home as my primary residence using a VA home loan. My condo mortgage was sold by Chase to Seterus. When I purchased the condo it was worth $150k and I tried using quicken loans to refinance but the appraisal came back at $129k which I am sure has dropped some more. I tried refinancing the rental but cannot due to the drop in value. I owe around $134k and the interest rate is 7.5%. The interest rate is way too high, especially with the decrease in home values. My condo mortgage is also a Fannie Mae Loan. I contacted Seterus several times to ask for help but no luck. I have tried to get them to lower my interest rate under the SCRA but they refused. I also inquired about the Obama programs but of course they said I didn’t qualify because it’s not my primary residence. What options do I have? I can no longer afford two mortgages on top of taking care of everything else. My LTV is around 112.5%. Is there any relief out there at all? Do I qualify for the HARP? Seterus doesn’t seem all that enthused to help!

  • BJ,

    Seterus will not be helpful because they’re a loan servicer only. If you talk to anybody there, their programs will be all based around modifications. You need to talk to a lender.

    The lender needs to be a DU Refi Plus lender. The condo and rental status shouldn’t be a problem. Let me know if you want a referral of a lender licensed to help you in your state.

  • wei

    I have a rental property originally purchased in 2008 as a second home. Loan have $240K. This rental property is worth about $280K now. Loan is sold to Freddie Mac and serviced by Citimortgage. I have tried HARP2 with Citimortgage. But since I have more than 4 financed properties (actually 10), Citimortgage will not do it. At least that is what the mortgage consultant told me. Now do I have to refi with Citi? It seems HARP2 is the best option I can have but Citi cannot do it?

  • Wei,

    Citi can do it under the Freddie Mac Same-Servicer HARP program. Outside lenders cannot touch it. Open-Access HARP, which is a Freddie Mac program made for outside lenders, has 4-property limit.

    If Citi won’t do it, you may be out of luck. I would keep pushing though.

  • Glenn

    Hi Keane,

    We moved in 2007 to a new home thinking we could sell our old home. Market turned quickly and now we’re accidental landlords and would like to refinance our old primary residence which is now considered our “investment property”. The loan is Freddie backed and serviced by BOA. We have a 1st and a second mortgage with them – the 1st is at 5.875% and roughly $287K out on it and the second mortgage is 7.375% with roughly 87K out on it. The home is worth $330K. Back in Feb I called BOA and they were no help. I see you mention the Open Access HARP with a different lender is an option…which is great, however will BOA approve a subordination if we do an Open Access refi the 1st with another lender?

  • Glenn,

    Your situation is common. The same-servicer version of Freddie Mac HARP does allow rentals now but BOA is too busy to do them. If an outside lender can get your file approved through Freddie Mac’s underwriting engine (loan prospector or LP), then you can refinance.

    Feel free to email me if you would like a referral. If the lender can’t get it approved through LP, I have a contact at BOA who is taking a waiting list for investment property HARP loans.

  • Glenn

    Yes, i’d love to get a contact at BOA that can do these internally there as it would likely give a subordination a better chance – like anywhere who you deal with can mean the difference between a smooth experience or a rough one. My fear in doing this with an outside lender is that all of the work is done on the 1st then you wait and wait on the subordination agreement – given that its a second mortgage on an investment property…I really wonder if they’d approve it…but again the thought of doing ALL that work on the 1st only to get a subordination denial? UGH

  • Glenn,

    If it’s a rental, BOA won’t do it. My experience with BOA is they’ve been fine with doing a subordination. Sometimes they want you to minimize the amount of costs you include in the loan but I haven’t seen them deny one completely for years.

  • Dianne

    I have a daughter that bought a duplex, and the loan on it was with some obsur a bc lender, the mortgage is NOT Freddie, not Fannie. Can they qualify for the open HARP and who are the lenders. Property is in UTAH, they short sold their primary home last yr. If you short sold a home, will it disqualify you. What are th erates an dhow are they figured? They have never missed a payment on their investment property. However did miss payments on their owner occupied property that short sold.

  • Dianne,

    There are a few hurdles. First, HARP is only for Fannie/Freddie backed loans. However, their search engines don’t always work well with multi-family. I would research further to see if it’s backed by them.

    They would need to get the loan from their current servicer due to their recent late payments and short sale. This would only be an option if it turns out their loan is backed by Fannie or Freddie AND your lender participates in HARP.

  • alan young

    I have been offered a loan on my investment property single family house loan to value is 40% 284000 loan 690000 value just apprased
    they offer 3.675% loan 30 year fixed $3600 in fees present loan is fanny mae I refinanced in dec 2009 just to lower the interest rate
    They say I dont qualify for HARP
    Is this true

  • Alan,

    It depends on when Fannie Mae securitized the loan. If you search for the property on the Fannie Mae loan lookup tool online, it will tell you when it was securitized.

    I’m not sure you necessarily need a HARP loan unless you have more than 10 properties financed.

  • mark

    im trying to refi with wells under harp and the denied my loan stating that it was up for rent through a relator , i asked the realator to remove the listing and now wells isnt returning my calls or emails …ive been with them for 8 years and have a 30 coventional at 7%
    any ideas what i should do???

  • Renee

    I have several questions.. (sorry) We have a rental condo in California worth about 100K and we owe 139,000. It has always been a rental since we bought it in 2000. We refinanced it in Aug. 2009 with CitiMortgage at 6.5 fixed. The deed is in my My husband, myself and son’s name. When we refinanced the loan the last time we refinanced it in my sons name only. We want to refinance it and put it back in our name only. We have great credit (750-800), never been late. It is a Freddie Mac loan. With the association dues and rent we are are $65.00 short each month) Will I be able to get a HARP Loan. Should I try and go with citibank or another lender? Is it going to be difficult since the loan is in my sons name and the deed is in all three of our names?

  • Monica

    Keane, do you have a contact who can do HARP2 loans with open access on a 4-unit rental property that is Freddie Mac owned? It’s serviced by Greentree but I can’t seem to get anywhere with them. Need a new source. Thank yo!

  • Renee,

    The biggest hurdle you face is likely something you hadn’t considered.

    For a loan to be eligible for HARP, it must be a conventional Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan that was securitized (purchased from the bank/lender) before May of 2009. Since you refinance in August of 2009, the loan won’t be eligible for HARP.

  • Monica,

    Perhaps. What state is the property in? You can email me if you like by sending me a message on my contact page.

  • Renee

    I am sorry, I made a mistake. The loan was acquired August 13, 2008 by Citibank not 2009.

  • Renee,

    Somebody who’s on the current mortgage must retain unfortunately. You should be able to do a refinance and even add your husband if he’s on title but someone from the current mortgage just retain. Is that a problem? If it’s a necessary evil you’re willing to work with, you may be able to refinance.

  • Steven

    Hi Keane,

    We have a property in Minnesota that was owned by Freddie Mac serviced by Provident Funding. It was last refinanced in 2008. We currently rent it out and do not own another property. Provident Funding said they do not do HARP for my property because I do not live there. I assume they do not participate in Open-Access HARP. Would you please advise if 1) we can still get Provident to do HARP for us? 2) Any other lender can do the refinance for us under the Open-Access HARP?

    Thanks!
    Steven

  • Steven,

    As long as your loan is strong enough that Freddie Mac’s Loan Prospector system will approve, somebody will be able to do this loan for you.

  • TC

    Purchased rental property 1988 w/ Citi. Refinanced with Citi 2003 as either a rental or as a 2nd home. Property is now primary residence. Low LTV. Eligible for HARP w/ Citi?

  • Steven

    Thanks Keane! I am in contact with Wells Fargo local office. The agent seems to be not familiar with the HARP. I called the Wells Fargo help line and was told that they prioritize their current customers for HARP. They can do the conventional loan for me. If I pay down more equity to bring down the LTV ratio to 80%, I can don’t have to pay mortgage insurance. Otherwise, I have to pay $100 insurance.

    As you suggested, I know I should reach out to other banks. Would you please recommend any contacts in my area (Virginia, DC metro) who is familiar with HARP?

    Thanks!
    Steven

  • TC,

    Your scenario sounds fine for HARP but it also spuds like you would be fine for a regular conventional refinance unless you hav Mee than 10 properties financed.

  • TC,

    Your scenario sounds fine for HARP but it also sounds like you would be fine for a regular conventional refinance unless you have more than 10 properties financed.

  • Steven,

    If you like, I can refer you to a Wells Fargo when who is familiar with the program.

  • Myron

    I helped my sons family purchase a home in 2007,in Maryland. It is Freddie Mac. I am the only one on the 6.375% 7 year interest only mortgage, but my son, his wife, my wife & I are on the title. BOA sold it last year to M&T Bank. Since last May I have been trying to get a new loan under HARP 2. Every month they send a new GFE and the loan fees go up about $500 each time to where it now would cost about $7.8K to settle on a $270K loan @4.5%. The monthly payments only drop a little, but that is because it includes P&I, not just interest. The equity in the last four years has disappeared. I originally paid $345K with a lot down, still owe $263K. My credit score is great, but not my sons so I guess it’s best not to put them on a mortgage until his score improves. I’d like to get it out of my name, or at least a lower percentage than 6.375%. Any suggestions? Should I just wait another couple years for the interest to reset?

  • Myron,

    Rates are lower now than a few months ago, but M&T may be continually charging you a rate lock extension from the original day pricing. I’m curious as to why it’s taken so long to close.

    You can always apply with an outside Freddie Mac lender under the Open-Access program. It will be difficult to remove yourself if you’re the only one with qualified credit.

  • Veronica

    We currently own a rental property here in California that was originally owned as our primary residence. It’s a Freddie Mac backed loan which was last refinanced with Provident in 2004 with a second taken out in 2005 through our local credit union. Balance on the Provident loan is $234,000 at 5.5% and the balance on the second is $33,000 at 6% on a residence worth $295,000. We have excellent credit, steady verifiable income and have never missed payments. While we’re not “underwater” we’d still like to refinance to get a lower interest rate. From what I understand, technically, we qualify for HARP 2.0, but Provident is not a participant. Would you please recommend a lender/lenders who would be willing to work with us on this loan? Also, is there any reason you can see from our scenario that would pose a problem for refinancing? Thank you in advance. Your site has been a wealth of information!

  • Veronica,

    You’re correct, Provident isn’t doing HARP loans. Your scenario doesn’t sound too tough. Here are some tidbits that may help you:

    1.) Loan Prospector, Freddie Mac’s underwriting engine, will likely approve your scenario if your debt-to-income ratio looks good and if the property is a house. May be tougher if it’s a condo.

    2.) Even if you do find an approved HARP lender, you should make sure your credit union will approve a subordination, which will be required to close your loan. This will be from the credit union.

    3.) You should expect a rate approximately .5% higher than the regular market rate for conventional loans due to the loan-to-value and rental property status.

    There are a handful of lenders who may be able to do your scenario, so I’ll email you if you wish a contact to work with.

  • Pratt

    My wife and I live in GA and between the 2 of us own 5 properties, though only 4 on each of our respective credit reports. We would like to refi a rental duplex that is serviced by Chase and backed by Freddie with only me on the mortgage but I am not currently working but my wife is. Both our credit scores are really good and we’ve never missed a payment. We meet the guidelines for HARP 2.0 but I would like to know if there would be a problem doing a refi given that I am not working but my wife is, if the number of properties will be problematic, and if you have any referral contacts for Chase.

  • Pratt,

    Freddie Mac will allow you to add her but if you apply through HARP outside of Chase (using the Open-Access program), you’ll be denied since she’ll have 5 properties financed.

    The Same-Servicer version of Freddie Mac HARP allows 5+, so Chase should be able to do this for you. Let me know if you need a referral.

  • Laura

    I have rental property that I live in. My mortgage is with Wellsfargo and they approved me for a refinance at a little under 5%. We were suppose to close within the next two weeks. I paid for the appraisal. Now they are telling me there is a hiccup in the process. My town changed our mailing address and zip code from my original loan with them. Now they are telling me that this could take months to straighten out and they can’t keep my interest rate, also maybe we should close out and I go through the whole process again when it gets straightned out. I don’t even know if I believe them. They also told me that the gentlemen I was working with resigned and that seem to be a lie. Any ideas on this. Thanks

  • Laura,

    Freddie Mac has lightened their guidelines for outside lenders. Have you applied with any outside lenders?

  • Keane- Great Info as always. I want to report that I just complete a HARP refi with PROVIDENT for a rental property in FL. The home was about 125% LTV and the new rate was 3.5% on a 30y fixed product (no real discount for 20-25yr). The loan was backed by Freddie Mac and originated as an investment w/Provident, so at least they are doing same servicer for now. Loan closed in about 2 1/2 weeks.

  • Kris,

    That’s amazing news. Provident hasn’t been supporting HARP and this is the first news I’ve received they are. Congrats!

  • Lacey Isbell

    I have a rental property with Chase bank that is underwater by 40k- 50k. I ower about 194k on a property that is valued around 150k Chase let me do an in-house no cash refinance about 1.5 years ago which was helpful but my interest rate is still at 5.25%….and I still am in the hole with collecting enough rent to cover the mortgage and condo fees. I want to find out if I can refinance with another institution using HARP 2 or anything really.

  • Lacey,

    Whether Chase told you or not, the loan you last did was a HARP loan. You can only do one per property, regardless of the lender.

    They may change this in the future but as of right now, there’s no other options.

  • Jeff

    Hi Keane,

    My wife and I have a former owner occ condo in Oregon. It has been a rental property since 2006. I’m on title but the loans are under her: B of A 1st Mort (formerly Countrywide): $136K @ 5.75% 30 yr fixed; B of A line of credit: $37K @ 4.25% variable. The property has lost a ton of value and is probably only worth ~$100K. Would we qualify being that far under water? She’s been a stay at home mom for 2 yrs and thus only has income of $600/mo from child support, would the refi have to add me to the loan? Are there any other options?

  • Jeff,

    You will have to be added to the loan to make this work, but you’ll likely need to apply with a lender other than BOA. If it’s backed by Freddie Mac, you’ll need somebody to run your file through Loan Prospector with both of you on the loan. The lender will need you to have enough income but your wife needs to stay on since she’s the only one on the loan.

    They won’t be able to include your 2nd mortgage HELOC. You’ll have to keep that loan the same as it is now. Email me if you want a referral.

  • Gail

    Hi Keane,

    I have an investment property owned by Freddie Mac (as of 4/1/2008) with an LTV over 125%. It’s been a rental property since 2005 (ARM loan) when I bought it, refinanced it in 2008 (30 yr conventional with PMI) and currently with PNC mortgage. I have contacted a broker and PNC (who does not allow HARP for loans with PMI) and the broker told me that Freddie Mac does not allow a HARP loan with an ltv over 125% on an investment property condo. Is this correct?

    Thanks!
    Gail

  • Gail,

    That’s not true. If that’s what they’re telling you, that is an internal overlay, which means their institution won’t do it. Let me know what state you’re in and I’ll help you find someone who can help you get this done.

  • Gail

    Keane,

    My property is in MD.

    Thanks!
    Donita

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