California is the tops for Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) loans, according to HARP Mortgage Lender, a lending network of mortgage professionals approved to work with the federal lending program.
According to figures released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), 14,204 HARP loans were issued in California in February 2013, an increase of 27 loans compared to January's 14,177 and an increase of 2,990 loans compared to December's 11,214.
HARP Mortgage Lender says with mortgage rates and house prices now increasing, there has been a corresponding increase in demand for HARP loans. The agency says there were as many HARP loans nationwide in 2012 (1.1 million) as there were in the first three years of the program combined.
Driving the increase are revisions made in late 2011 that made HARP more accessible to underwater borrowers. With home values now increasing, distressed borrowers now have more options to stay in their homes, including getting locked into the low California HARP rates before they rise.
A main goal of HARP is to help responsible borrowers who are underwater on their mortgages streamline the refinancing process.