No Hope In HARP For Underwater Mortgages In Las Vegas

Las Vegas Underwater Mortgages Lose Hope

Homeowners in Las Vegas are disappointed by underwater mortgage HARP relief program. The former HARP refinancing program was a complete failure for the homeowners in Las Vegas as well as a flop in the whole country. A tiny portion of the homeowners could join the HARP strict requirements, leaving too many wet eyes watching the Home Affordable Refinance Program leave the station without them. Most of Las Vegas underwater mortgage borrowers were left out of the program due to the fact their underwater mortgage was over the 125% limit of the HARP requirements.

When the Obama administration first announced the HARP mortgage relief refinancing program, it was part of the Making Home Affordable program. The reality was much more complicated and only a few thousands of the millions in need could actually refinance with the offered program.

Here is what Steve Kanigher, from the  has on this subject:

“One reason too few homeowners have received federal help to make their mortgages more affordable has been program qualifications that are too strict for most of them to meet. Obama conceded as much in Las Vegas outside the home of Jose and Lissette Bonilla when he said that under the HARP guidelines homeowners couldn’t qualify if what they owe on their mortgage exceeds the value of their home by at least 25 percent.”And this is critically important for a place like Las Vegas, where home values have fallen by more than 50 percent over the past five years,” Obama said. “If you’ve got a $250,000 mortgage at 6 percent interest rates, but the value of your home has fallen below $200,000, right now you can’t refinance. You’re ineligible. But that’s going to change. If you meet certain requirements, you will have the chance to refinance at lower rates, which could save you hundreds of dollars a month, and thousands of dollars a year on mortgage payments.”The Obama administration announced changes to HARP eligibility for homes with fixed-rate mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, including removal of the requirement that one’s amount owed cannot exceed the value of the home by more than 25 percent. Certain fees for borrowers will also be reduced or eliminated.

Considering the 269,560 mortgaged residences in the Las Vegas metro area that were underwater as of June, according to real estate analytics firm CoreLogic of Santa Ana, Calif., the number of Southern Nevadans helped by federal mortgage relief programs has been minimal.” Read the full post..

The new changes to the HARP program may mean more homeowners may have a part of the relief funds. Up to now it is estimated that only as little as 13% of the homeowners who need underwater HARP refinancing in Las Vegas did get aid from the program. The new HARP regulations will loosen the strict requirements, lifting the 125% equity limit, allowing more underwater mortgage borrowers to be included in the program.

Some say, better late than never.. I do not agree, because each of those homeowners who has lost his home could not be compensated by the new HARP. We will see next year if the new HARP did help Las Vegas underwater mortgage owners this time.

So What Is The Next Step?

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