Could there be a HARP 3 in the future?

Written By: Glenn Michaels, Op-Ed Writer

On February 7, 2013 Senators Menendez and Boxer introduced a bill called “The Responsible Homeowners Act of 2013.”

At the present moment this bill is in committee. If the bill comes out of committee and if it passes the full Senate and the House of Representatives in its present form, HARP refinances will be extended for at least another year.

Need FHA Training? CLICK HERE:

The bill will eliminate certain costs associated with obtaining a mortgage and make it simpler for homeowners to change their mortgage servicer.

The goal of the Menendez – Boxer bill is to allow more homeowners to refinance their home mortgage loans to take advantage of historic low mortgage interest rates.

The bill proposes to reduce fees associated with obtaining a mortgage, remove income and employment verification similar to what FHA and VA currently do on their FHA Streamline and VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan.

Currently HARP requires homeowners to have a good payment record and based on this the bill is proposing the elimination of verification of income and employment.

The bill also is calling for the elimination of appraisal fees and for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to develop alternate home appraisal methods, such as automated value methods that will eliminate the need for a home visit and full appraisal.

The bill that is pending also contains some other guidelines that everyone should make note of:

• The current mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
• A mortgage securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
• A mortgage that has not been previously refinanced via HARP, except for Fannie Mae loans refinanced under HARP between March and May 2009.
• A mortgage with a loan to value ratio of 80% or greater.
• A mortgage which is current and with a perfect payment history dating back 6 months.

The bill proposes that HARP refinances be extended to December 1, 2014.

Need FHA Training? CLICK HERE:

At the present moment the prognosis is that the bill has a 20% chance of getting pass the committee and a 2% chance of being enacted. In scope of things, only 12% of Senate bills made it past committee and only 2% were enacted in 2011 – 2013. A good thing there is 23 cosponsors of the bill.

The legislation is supported by a broad array of stakeholders representing borrowers, lenders, and other experts, including the Mortgage Bankers Association, Housing Policy Council of the Financial Services Roundtable, National Association of Realtors, National Association of Home Builders, Amherst Securities, Americans for Financial Reform, and the Center for Responsible Lending.

About The Author

Glenn Michaels - As an op-ed writer, Glenn Michaels is a mortgage underwriting instructor for CampusUnderwriter ( As a BBA & FHA DE Underwriter, Glenn is a Pace University graduate who also graduated from New York University’s School of Mortgage Finance. Glenn has conducted numerous training classes and has worked in the mortgage banking industry for 38 years. 

Opinion-Editorial (Op-Ed) Disclaimer For NAMU® Library Articles: The views and opinions expressed in the NAMU® Library articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official NAMU® policy or position. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world application as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of NAMU®. Nothing contained in this articles should be considered legal advice.