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How HARP Can Put Money in Your Pocket | Zillow Blog

How HARP Can Put Money in Your Pocket | Zillow Blog

By Frank E. Nothaft

Is your house underwater? Did it lose value during the last recession? Could you use a few extra thousand dollars next year?

If you said “yes” to one or more of these questions, then you probably haven’t taken advantage of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). The federal government launched HARP in 2009 to help eligible homeowners with mortgages owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae save money by refinancing into low-interest loans despite a drop in the value of their home.

As of August 2013, HARP has saved approximately 2.9 million homeowners as much as $12 billion a year on their mortgage interest payments. It’s estimated that new HARP borrowers who refinanced into Freddie Mac mortgages during the first nine months of 2013 reduced their mortgage interest rates an average of 2 full percentage points, from about 6.1 percent to 4.0 percent. (In some states, such as Texas, the average HARP borrower’s interest rate fell by 2.7 percentage points.)

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