*The Impact Of HARP 2.0*
**By Tony Garritano**
***I’ve been talking to a lot of people about HARP 2.0. Will it help? Will it hurt? Will it have any impact at all? The jury is out depending on who you talk to. Regardless, Urban Lending Solutions, a provider of residential and commercial outsource fulfillment and settlement services to the mortgage origination and servicing industry, has shifted internal resources to provide more support to lenders and servicers that will capitalize on the new streamlined Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).
****“This is going to be a great opportunity for the nation’s homeowners,” said Mike Forgas, President of Urban Lending Solutions. “The new guidelines will allow more borrowers to qualify and this will lead to an increase in refinance activity. Banks may not be staffed to handle this increase and they are reaching out to qualified partners to help support and streamline the HARP 2.0 refinance process. We have been very successful supporting our existing clients with the HARP process.”
****The original goal of the HARP program was to allow underwater borrowers to refinance. However, strict guidelines prevented many homeowners who wanted to refinance from qualifying. Under HARP 2.0, these restrictions have been relaxed and the processing has been streamlined. Many industry experts expect the program to result in a wave of new refinances. However, industry guidance from the former GSEs has thus far been sketchy, leading many lenders to seek out professional support for their upcoming HARP 2.0 programs.
****“This is an excellent opportunity for banks to meet their annual corporate diversity goals at the same time they significantly expand their refinance business, if they partner with a qualified Minority Business Enterprise,” said Thomas “T.J.” Lewis, Corporate Diversity and Business Development Executive for ULS. “We have a proven team that is already working with some of the nation’s largest lenders and servicers and we are an MBE. It makes us a perfect choice for this program.”
****“Our experienced team of mortgage professionals will allow us to help our lender partners move quickly to secure this new business,” said Penny Nelson, Vice President of Mortgage Services Operations for ULS. “We have Urban University, and a dedicated training team that allows us to get our staff up to speed very quickly on the bank’s technology platform.”