While many large financial institutions are facing backlogs of mortgage applications as more homeowners take advantage of low interest rates and the government-sponsored Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), borrowers looking to accelerate the refinancing process are finding some relief from brokerages and community banks that are not servicing HARP loans.

  • HARP borrowers typically refinance with the banks that originally serviced their loans, because those banks already have their information and, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, “There’s potential for it to be a less painful process.”
  • Still, tighter lending standards precipitated by the mortgage crisis have made for an arduous application process.
  • Mortgage brokers are reporting an increase in business from those looking to streamline the process.  According to one broker, a benefit of working with a mortgage broker is that they have direct contact with the banks and can keep track of the application as it goes through many hands at the bank.
  • Borrowers also might want to consider refinancing with a community bank, especially those that do not service HARP-eligible borrowers and are able to respond quicker to non-HARP refinance requests.

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