Yesterday I wrote that the lender won't refinance the mortgage if you owe more than the house is worth. Carol, a loan officer, gently reminded us of the existence of the Home Affordable Refinance Program. HARP is designed to let people refinance even though they are upside-down on their houses.
I had forgotten about HARP, even though I wrote an article a month ago about a homeowner who got a HARP refi after persevering through months of obstacles.
From the feds' standpoint, HARP is an afterthought. The Treasury Department compiles monthly statistics on the Home Affordable Modification Program, but I can't find stats on HARP. So no one seems to know how many HARP refis there have been.
Carol also points out that the FHA and VA permit streamline refinances, in which no appraisal is required.
To qualify for these refi programs, you have to have a good payment history.