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Washington, D.C. – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced it will hold its fifth event to reach homeowners who could save on their monthly mortgage payments by refinancing through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). FHFA Director Mel Watt will join housing experts and community leaders on March 4 in a town hall-style meeting at Essex County College in Newark, NJ. The event is designed to provide tools to community leaders to encourage the more than 20,000 New Jersey residents still eligible for HARP to take advantage of the program. HARP expires in December of 2015.
"We are working with community leaders and other trusted sources to get the word out that more than 20,000 New Jersey homeowners could save, on average, more than $220 per month refinancing through HARP," said FHFA Director Watt. "HARP expires in December of 2015, so the time to take advantage of the program is now. We will also be providing information about other forms of assistance available to homeowners in distress."
Director Watt will kick off the event and Naa Awaa Tagoe, Senior Associate Director in the Division of Housing Mission and Goals at FHFA, will moderate a panel discussion including representatives from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, New Jersey Citizen Action, and a representative with PHH Mortgage.
According to new data from the FHFA, as of the third quarter of 2014, there are more than 652,000 eligible homeowners nationwide who would benefit financially from HARP, with more than 20,000 in New Jersey alone. FHFA's interactive map of the U.S. shows HARP-eligible borrowers by Metropolitan Statistical Area, county or zip code.
To be eligible for HARP, homeowners must meet the following criteria:
Borrowers typically will get a financial benefit from HARP if they meet those criteria and have a remaining mortgage balance of $50,000 or more, a remaining term of greater than 10 years, and an interest rate at least 1.5 percent higher than current market rates.
FHFA and the Treasury Department introduced HARP in early 2009 as part of the Making Home Affordable program. As of November 2014, more than 3.2 million homeowners have refinanced through HARP. HARP is one of the few refinance programs that allows borrowers with little or no equity to take advantage of low interest rates and other refinancing benefits.
FHFA launched a nationwide public awareness campaign and the website HARP.gov and HARP.gov/espanol to reach borrowers who are eligible to participate in HARP. FHFA has held HARP outreach events in Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit and Miami, the cities with the highest number of eligible borrowers.
Follow @FHFA on Twitter for information on the #HARPNewark event. A short video will also be available on the FHFA Channel on YouTube following the March 4 outreach event.
Link to HARP Toolkit
The Federal Housing Finance Agency regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks. These government-sponsored enterprises provide more than $5.6 trillion in funding for the U.S. mortgage markets and financial institutions.
Media: Stefanie Johnson (202) 649-3030 / Corinne Russell (202) 649-3032 Consumers:
Consumer Communications or (202) 649-3811
© 2019 Federal Housing Finance Agency