The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) was instituted by the government in early 2009 to provide borrowers who may not otherwise qualify for refinancing the ability to refinance their mortgages into a lower interest rate or to convert it into a more stable mortgage. With the passage of HARP, the Federal Housing Finance Authority and the Department of Treasury have sought to combat declining home values and a reduction in access to mortgage insurance. For borrowers, HARP is unique as compared to other refinancing options because it enables borrowers who owe more than their home is worth to take advantage of low interest rates and other refinancing benefits. HARP allows homeowners who were not already eligible to refinance, to do so. These changes included a reduction in fees for borrowers and the elimination of a cap that prevented “underwater” borrowers who owe more than 125 percent of what their property is worth from accessing the program. To be eligible for the HARP program, borrowers must meet the following criteria: 1. The existing mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009. 2. The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio on the mortgage must be greater than 80% 3. Borrowers must be current on their mortgage payments with no late payment in the past 6 months and no more than one late payment in the past 12 months. 4. The borrower must not have had a mortgage that was previously refinanced using HARP. For more information, go to: www.makinghomeaffordable.gov. If you believe you qualify for mortgage refinancing, call Fine, Olin & Anderman, LLP, at (855) 392-8662 and ask for the General Legal Department. Our statewide law firm, representing union members, their families and friends for over 40 years, has attorneys with many years of experience in Real Estate and other legal matters.