Of all of the various government housing programs run by various federal agencies — Federal Housing Administration, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Housing and Urban Development and, of course, Fannie Mae — HARP is the most effective and efficient one out there. Odds are you have never even heard of the Home Affordable Refinance Program.
And that is a shame, because it is doing what it was designed to do: Help qualified homeowners refinance underwater homes and avoid foreclosure.
The Wall Street Journal’s Nick Timiraos wrote a terrific article on the subject: You probably missed it, as it was unfortunately buried on New Year’s Eve. (Timiraos’s regular housing and mortgage columns in the Journal are incisive and free from the usual bias and politics that tend to accompany much of the housing coverage these days.)