UI Says HARP 2.0 Could Help Pandemic-Era Borrowers; Rates Back to Recent Lows
The Urban Institute (UI) is advocating for a streamlined refinancing program similar to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) which aided many homeowners during the Great Recession to assist those impacted by the pandemic. HARP, which was used by more than 3.4 million borrowers between 2009 and 2018, offered simplified documentation, automated appraisals, no or reduced loan-level pricing adjustments, and mortgage insurance transferability to existing GSE (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) borrowers. Because home prices had dropped dramatically, leaving many borrowers underwater, eligibility was determined without regard to a mortgage's current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. UI analysts Laurie Goodman and Edward Golding write that studies have estimated that HARP, by lowering monthly mortgage payments
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