April 4th, 2012 9:20 AM by Sherry Lee
Underwater homeowners who want to refinance don't have to go to their original lender under the new federal Home Affordable Refinance Program.
Owners who owe more than their home is worth can go to any lender to refinance for a lower interest rate, according to the new rules of the so-called HARP 2.0 program.
Homeowners may be able to get a lower interest rate by shopping around, said Wendy Gault, senior vice president for residential lending at Broward-based Stonegate Bank.
Her bank is loaning to people who owe more their home's current value, she said.
The new program requires that the refinance to be for the owners' primary residence. They must have taken out their original mortgage on or before May31, 2009. The loan is financed through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.