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President’s Corner New federal program will allow for more people to be borrowers

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Diane Gallagher

Posted: Friday, February 10, 2012 5:04 pm

Do you know the real question on everyone’s mind is. When will property values appreciate again?

That is the million dollar question that real estate professionals, investors and mortgage professionals would like to know. The truth is nobody can accurately predict the return of the real estate market.

I am told what needs to happen to facilitate that change is quite simply this: America must reinvest in herself once again. Without an investment, real estate is as worthless as the dollar is today.

DID YOU HEAR? The Obama administration announced broad outlines of the revised Home Affordable Refinance Program.

I was able to speak to John King, a lender from Summit Funding this week. John was able to speak to me about programs that are available already to the borrower and what is going to be coming in the near future. Here is some information from King about the new program.

On February 7, 2012 the Obama administration announced that the changes to the HARP program are an effort to attract more eligible borrowers to refinance their home mortgage.

It’s called HARP 2 (Home Affordable Refinance Program). To find out if you are eligible for this program, go to or If you are not at this time, watch and see. You may be later, as more banks continue to implement this program.

Here are some requirements for eligibility:

• The mortgage must be owed or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

• In order to qualify you must have an existing mortgage that has been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.

• There is no longer a maximum loan to value (LTV) limit for borrower eligibility.

• Borrowers must be current on their mortgage payments with no late payment in the past six months and no more than one late payment in the past 12 months.

• Borrowers only option today is to go to your current lender to start the process. You do not need to use a third party company to apply for this HARP 2 loan. But, if you wait about 45 days or more you will be able to go to different lenders or banks to see if you can get a more competitive quote.

Remember one thing, not everyone is eligible for this program.

Thank you John for your input on such an important subject.

I hope this will help you in deciding what you will do with your mortgage! I look forward to next week!

If you would like to reach me, please feel free to email me at: Diane Gallagher is the President of the Lodi Association of Realtors.