The Urban Institute (UI) is advocating for a streamlined
refinancing program similar to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) which aided many
homeowners during the Great Recession to assist those impacted by the pandemic.
HARP, which was used by more than 3.4 million borrowers between 2009 and 2018, offered
simplified documentation, automated appraisals, no or reduced loan-level
pricing adjustments, and mortgage insurance transferability to existing GSE
(Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) borrowers. Because home prices had dropped
dramatically, leaving many borrowers underwater, eligibility was determined without
regard to a mortgage’s current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio.