The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is making another attempt to reach homeowners who might benefit from its Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).  FHFA feels that there are hundreds of thousands of homeowners who may not be aware that they are eligible for HARP or that they could save two to three thousand dollars on mortgage payments each year by refinancing through the program.

A new campaign launched today will attempt to reach borrowers considered "in-the-money" through local community leaders, faith-based organizations, elected officials, and lenders.  The first in a planned series of town-hall style meetings with local representatives is scheduled for July 8 in Chicago where it is thought there are approximately 36,000 Chicago residents who could benefit from the program.

FHFA Director Mel Watt will attend the Chicago event at which Sandra Thompson, FHFA's Deputy Director for Housing Mission and Goals, will moderate a panel discussion featuring Director Watt, officials from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Wells Fargo and a community leader from Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, Inc.  Event attendees will receive a dedicated toolkit specific to Chicago describing in greater detail the elements of HARP and how borrowers stand to benefit from the program and will be asked to share the information with area residents.

FHFA will announce future HARP events in the coming weeks.  The agency is targeting areas which have the highest numbers of "in-the-money" borrowers who have yet to take advantage of a HARP refinance.  Borrowers are considered "in-the-money" if they meet the basic HARP eligibility requirements, have a remaining balance of $50,000 or more on their mortgage and a remaining term greater than 10 years, and their mortgage interest rate is at least 1.5 percent higher than current market rates.

"We know that there are hundreds of thousands of borrowers who can still benefit from HARP and are essentially leaving money on the table by not taking advantage of the program," said Watt.  "By engaging directly with local community leaders, faith-based organizations, local elected officials and lenders, our goal is to leverage these trusted sources to reach as many 'in-the-money' borrowers as we can."

The HARP Toolkit​ contains a selection of fact sheets about the program and aids to assist borrowers determine if they are eligible for the program.