The Home Affordable Refinance Program or HARP can, and has been, a real life saver for many homeowners who wish to take advantage of today's low interest rates. What makes this program special is it's meant specifically for borrowers who are upside down, or close to it, as far as the value of their home versus what they owe. In other words, if a borrower is literally underwater equity-wise on their conventional, i.e.: FannieMae or FreddieMac mortgage, they may be eligible to refinance without paying down any principal on their mortgage.
What is a HARP? There has been a lot of talk about “the rolling out of the HARP” in the press, but it's actually been around since 2009. It has many names, the Making Home Affordable Plan, The Obama Refi Plan, DU Refi Plus and Freddie Relief Refi. There are some fairly strict eligibility requirements, the major one being that your current loan must already be backed by FannieMae or FreddieMac, and it must have been bought by Fannie or Freddie prior to June 1, 2009. If your current mortgage is an FHA, USDA, VA or a jumbo, you are not qualified for this particular program. However, don't feel left out. All of those loans have their own particular streamline refinance programs that could be a benefit to you, too.
To find out if a loan is backed by Fannie Mae, look under http://loanlookup.
"Fannie Mae Loan Look-Up or Freddie Mac Loan Look-Up"
If you're not behind on your mortgage payments but have been unable to get traditional refinancing because the value of your home has declined, you may be eligible to refinance through HARP. This program is designed to help you get a more affordable, more stable mortgage. HARP refinance loans require a loan application and underwriting process, and refinance fees will apply.