Are you a homeowner who has an adjustable rate mortgage, or a high interest rate mortgage, or a mortgage balance larger than the value of your home? Nationally, 1 in 4 homeowners is upside down in their home loan. California is even more troubling with 1 in 3 homeowners upside down in their home loan.

If your mortgage is owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, you need to know about their Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). Administered by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae homeowners can refinance to a new loan and lock in at today’s lower fixed interest rates. And their may also be a principal reduction.

To qualify, you need to be a homeowner who is current on your loan payments, and your loan balance is 80% to 125% of your property’s current value. A majority of home owners who purchased in the past 5 years will meet this requirement.

This refinance program was ready to expire June 30, 2011 and has recently been extended one year thru June 30, 2012.

Now you won’t know Freddie or Fannie is your lender by who you’re sending mortgage payment to every month. The Wells Fargo’s, Bank of America’s, Chase’s, etc, brand name lenders may just be “servicing” the loan on behalf of Freddie or Fannie. To find out if you have a Freddie Mac loan, visit www.freddiemac.com. For a Fannie Mae loan visit www.fanniemae.com.

HARP is intended to pull borrowers “above water” and help them get out from under plummeting property values and/or increasing interest rates. Nationally 621,803 homeowners have taken advantage of this program. Yet this represents only 10% of annual home sales nationally so it’s clear many homeowners are not aware of this program. If you have questions, both Freddie and Fannie’s websites have excellent examples, one of which may fit your scenario. Additional questions should be directed to your favored Eureka area loan officer or mortgage broker who knows how to speak HARP.