It’s been 1.5 years since I posted “I want a HARP loan but I have PMI” and I’m happy to report that there have been many positive developments since then.
The implementation of HARP 2.0 has drastically improved the options for homeowners who have PMI. However, since HARP 2.0 is so new, many homeowners are still having difficulties finding lenders willing to help them. This is especially true if they have a specific type of PMI that isn’t widely supported. Let me share the latest info I have on PMI HARP loans.
First, let’s address the big 3 banks:
- Wells Fargo- Wells Fargo has done a good job supporting their customers by offering a wide variety of HARP options including PMI loans even before HARP 2.0 was released. With HARP 2.0, they can now lend with no loan-to-value limit. They are supporting most types of PMI but are not doing any LPMI HARP loans
- Chase- Chase is the only bank that offered all versions of HARP to their customers, and also supported PMI HARP loans long before HARP 2.0 was released. Chase will do most HARP loans but they are also not supporting LPMI loans
- Bank of America- Thank goodness Bank of America is finally joining Chase and Wells! They will now do PMI HARP loans, rental properties, and HARP loans with subordinated second mortgages. These features were all standard at Wells Fargo and Chase, but Bank of America had traditionally limited their HARP options. As I mentioned above, this is no longer the case. Bank of America has adopted a HARP product selection similar to Wells Fargo and Chase. Unfortunately, there are several types of PMI that Bank of America is not supporting – this includes LPMI. Additionally, there are some types of monthly paid PMI that they do not support.
In summary, if your loan is with one of these three banks, most HARP options other than LPMI loans are supported. I’ve spoken to representatives at these banks and they do not anticipate supporting LPMI loans at this time. If you do not have LPMI, it’s worth checking with your lender about what options they can provide. Also remember that it’s worth checking with outside lenders to see if they can offer a more competitive price.
Next, let’s address PMI HARP loan options outside of the big banks.
Many lenders are now supporting HARP 2.0 that include options for borrowers with PMI. You will see a mixed array of lenders supporting PMI HARP loans and the mix often varies based on the state your property is in. The PMI company insuring your loan and the type of PMI you have will be critical in determining your eligibility. Some lenders will only do HARP loans for certain PMI companies; others will work with all PMI companies. Here is a list of the 6 biggest PMI companies who may be backing your loan. In order to determine your specific type of PMI, you will need to contact your PMI company.
- Genworth- 1-800-444-5664 http://mortgageinsurance.genworth.com
- MGIC-1-800-558-9900 http://mgic.com/origination/refi_to_mod.html
- Radian- – 1-877-radian1 http://www.radian.biz/page?name=HomeownerHelp
- United Guaranty- 1-877-642-4642 https://www.ugcorp.com/services/harp.html
- RMIC (Closed but supporting HARP PMI loans) 1-800-999-7642 http://www.rmic.com/productsandservices/recovery/Pages/default.aspx#harp
- PMI Mortgage Insurance Company- (Closed but supporting HARP) 800-366-1143 http://www.pmi-us.com/lenders/harp.html
As I mentioned above, the particular type of PMI you have will determine which lenders will want to work with you. Here is a list of the four options in the order of most-supported to least-supported:
- If you pay your PMI monthly, you’ll have the highest chance of being supported by HARP
- If you had LPMI where the PMI premium was paid all upfront, you’ll have a handful of lenders who will support you
- If you had a “Split-Premium” where a portion was paid upfront and you still pay monthly, fewer lenders will support you
- If you have LPMI where your servicer is paying the PMI company monthly, you’ll have the least amount of support
For options 2 and 4, in some cases Radian and MGIC are willing to convert your PMI to monthly paid to help you qualify. I’ve asked representatives at Genworth and United Guaranty if they are making similar accommodations and they told me “they are considering all options” to support the homeowners.
If you have LPMI and your lender paid the premium upfront (option 2), I would highly recommend seeking a lender who will do your HARP loan without converting your PMI to a monthly premium. Your PMI was already paid upfront and no further premiums are needed. By converting to a monthly premium, you’re paying additional and unnecessary PMI.
If your PMI is paid monthly by your lender, it is nearly impossible to obtain a HARP loan unless you convert the PMI to a monthly premium. Again, only Radian and MGIC is offering this at the moment. Furthermore, the big 3 banks are not supporting LPMI loans converted to monthly even though they will do standard monthly PMI HARP loans. If you find the frustrating, I am right there with you. I have had exhausting discussions representatives at the banks. It’s probably not worth wasting your time discussing it with them. Of course, if I hear of any changes or developments, I’ll be sure to update this post.
Some lenders are exclusively “Loan Servicers”. This means they cannot do HARP loans as they only collect your payments. If you contact them about HARP, they may refer you to an outside lender, but the lender they refer you to cannot do more than any other outside lender, so be sure to shop around to get the best rate and price if this is your situation. Here is a list of the biggest servicer-only lenders I receive calls about:
It is a relief to be able to write posts discussing options and opportunities that can help consumers shop for their HARP loan instead of explaining reasons why they cannot refinance. Here are two more posts that will be helpful in the event that you are able to refinance with the HARP program.
These posts should help you prepare for the process, find the best rate, and find the best professional to help you.