First thing you need to do is see if your loan was guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (as required for HARP). Ameriquest did do a LOT of loans that were outside their guidelines, so it would not be surprising if your loan is not HARP eligible. Here are links to the Fannie and Freddie websites to see if your loan is eligible: www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup
www.freddiemac.com/mymortgage Make sure you enter your address in exactly as shown on your mortgage statement. If neither says they have your loan, unfortunately, you likely have no refinance options under current loan programs, assuming you do not have a VA, USDA, or FHA loan. If you do (which you didn’t indicate) you may have some streamline refinance options available.
If you do not qualify for HAMP but have a USDA backed loan instead, then you might want to check out their program. In February 2012, USDA announced the launch of a pilot program to help rural borrowers refinance their mortgages to reduce their monthly payments. The Single Family Housing Guaranteed Rural Refinance Pilot Program will operate in 19 states for homeowners who have loans that were made or guaranteed by USDA Rural Development. The two-year pilot is open to homeowners in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Tennessee.
To be eligible under this pilot, borrowers must have made their mortgage payments on time for 12 consecutive months. They do not have to obtain new credit reports, property inspections or home appraisals. Refinanced loans must be at rates below the original interest rate. Terms cannot exceed 30 years. No cash out is permitted to the borrower. Homeowners with loans guaranteed through USDA Rural Development’s Single Family Housing Guaranteed (Section 502) program should contact their lender to initiate the process. Those who have Section 502 Direct loans through USDA should contact their local Rural Development office for assistance.
You can also contact Rural Development with additional questions regarding the process. If a loan is insured by Rural Development, the consumer should call 1-(866) 550-5887 to speak to a representative at USDA’s Centralized Servicing Center. Here is more information: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/STELPRD4014547.html
You can obtain a HARP Refinance through anyone that is offering the program. You are not restricted to your own servicer. This is one of the most common misconceptions about the program, I wrote an article awhile back because many of the banks state you must go through them.
Shop your loan and determine which company will suit your needs, wants and goals the best.
The HARP refinance is very similar to a conventional refinance however has more relaxed guidelines on debt to income and loan to value. I’ve obtained an approval for a HARP refinance at 69% DTI and a 250%LTV and was able to secure the borrower a much more affordable payment on his home.