HARP Refinance Program : $5 Billion Saved In 2012
The government’s revamped Housing Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) does more than just help underwater homeowners. It helps the banks that make HARP loans, too.
A recent Wall Street analysis pegged the value of the HARP refinance program at more than $12 billion for mortgage lenders and HARP loan servicers in 2012 alone. By contrast, the value of HARP to U.S. homeowners is estimated at less than $5 billion.
This doesn’t mean the banks get more from HARP than consumers, but with 75% of borrowers refinancing HARP via their current mortgage lenders, it’s easy to see why some critics of the program call HARP a “captive program”.
Few homeowners even know that the can use the HARP refinance program with any participating lender — not just their current one. By “shopping around”, HARP borrowers can get lower mortgage rates and bigger mortgage savings.