So I just got off the phone with my credit union about refinancing my mortgage. I'm about 30% upside down, not with Fannie or Freddie and have been paying on time since I got the mortgage in 2007. What the loan officer said left me speechless.
Back in late 2011 there was some talk about the "rolling out" of new, broader HARP programs in the spring or summer of 2012. I was hopeful but skeptical.
Then about a month ago, I started getting those emails from the white house asking me to "tell my home ownership story" and inviting me to multiple online discussions about how the president is trying to make it so that anyone can easily get refinancing.
I sent in my story. It was half rant, half plea. See, I'm paying and astronomical interest rate (9%). Fortunately my mortgage is still under $1000/month but with the right rate, my mortgage would be under $500.
So imagine my surprise when my credit union loan officer mentioned (and I quote) "the HARP 3.0 coming out in about six weeks."
She explained that I'd easily qualify for it and gave me her number to call back. In disbelief we called bank of america, the people who currently hold our mortgage (and all our business accounts and a few credit cards too). While he didn't use the words HARP 3.0 he did mention to follow what's happening politically, contact your congressmen, told us we'd easily qualify (he was looking at ALL our financials as we spoke) and made sure we had his direct extension to call him back "when the time is right". His extension was a seven digit extension. My husband said: "is this a phone number or an extension?" he answered, "No, it's an extension. Because we have a lot of loan officers here at bank of America."
Needless to say I'm excited, hopeful, skeptical all at the same time. But the political junkie and Obama lover in me gets the feeling there's something big about to happen with respect to mortgage refinancing: either a big assed late August showdown with the republicans or the implementation of an already ready to go "HARP 3.0" which would be both a massive stimulus as well as a political death blow right around um....labor day, the traditional marker for when people begin "paying attention".
What a great personal and political gift that would be. I know what I'd do with that monthly savings. At least through the end of the campaign.