Audio: Why HARP 2.0 is a 'game-changer'

What's new? The government removed from HARP a barrier that prevented applicants from borrowing more than 125% of their home's value.

We recently spoke with Karen Mayfield, the national sales manager for the mortgage banking division of Bank of the West, about changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program, the government refi program designed to help underwater homeowners.

The new HARP rules, which took effect earlier this year, include a real "game-changer," Mayfield says.

The government removed a barrier that prevented applicants from borrowing more than 125% of their home's current value. That loan-to-value hurdle was one of the factors behind the failure of an earlier version of the program.

As a result, California-based Bank of the West -- which has hundreds of branches in 19 Western and Midwestern states -- expects 20% of the mortgages it originates through the end of the year will be HARP refinance loans.

In the audio clip below, Mayfield explains the new HARP eligibility requirements and discusses which states stand to benefit most from the program.

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