The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) published a press release Wednesday, June 25th, announcing it is making new outreach efforts to inform eligible participants about the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).

FHFA Mel Watt HARP

FHFA Director Mel Watt working with others to expand HARP

FHFA Director Mel Watt is coming together with housing experts, community leaders and the general public for a town hall meeting at the Woodson Regional Library in Chicago on July 8. The meeting is being held to publicize the benefits of HARP and encourage the nearly 36,000 Chicago residents eligible to participate in the program to learn more this opportunity. Experts say that many of these homeowners could save two to three thousand dollars a year by refinancing their mortgage.

As part of their ongoing public education initiative, today the FHFA launched an interactive online map showing an estimate of the number of “in-the-money” borrowers eligible for HARP in every zip code, county and community across the country.  The map can be found at HARP.gov.

Over 3.1 million homeowners have taken advantage of low interest rate refinancing through HARP as of April 2014.

Part of nationwide campaign

The Chicago town hall meeting in July is part of the FHFA’s nationwide public awareness campaign to reach eligible borrowers and encourage them to participate in HARP.  The campaign involves town hall-style events in a number of cities that have the highest number of “in-the-money” borrowers who have not yet refinanced through HARP. Borrowers are considered “in-the-money” if they meet basic FHFA requirements, they have a balance of either $50,000 or more on their mortgage, have a remaining term on their mortgage more than 10 years and their mortgage rate is at least 1.5% higher than current rates.

Statement from FHFA Director Watt

“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,” Watt elaborated in a statement.  “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.”