The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) is a mortgage assistance program, set up by the Federal Housing Finance Agency in March 2009 to help underwater and near-underwater homeowners refinance their mortgages.
After the housing market crash in 2009 many homeowners were faced with a situation where their house was considered “underwater”. In this scenario, the house value was less than the mortgage loan cost, in other words, having a negative equity value in the home. Refinancing was not an option, nor was selling the home unless they paid the lender for the difference. Unfortunately, this lead many homeowners into foreclosure.