Retuned HARP could help owners refinance

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If you can’t refinance because you’re underwater on your mortgage, you’re in luck. The Home Affordable Refinance Program has been revised to allow borrowers to refinance no matter how far their homes have fallen in value. I’m Clark Palmer with your personal finance minute.

HARP has also been changed in other ways. You will not need a new property appraisal if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have enough data in their automated valuation system to estimate the value of the property. Plus, certain fees associated with the risk of the mortgage loan will be reduced.

Also, those who bought a house as their primary residence but now hold the property as an investment will be able to refinance through HARP at an additional cost. And lenders will be waived of certain liabilities on the original loans if they refinance those loans through HARP.

Lenders won’t get the final, detailed guidelines on the HARP changes until Nov. 15. After that, it will vary by lender on how quickly they adopt and implement those changes. So there’s no need to rush to refinance yet.

For more refinancing tips, visit I’m Clark Palmer.