The most straightforward way to determine whether a loan is an FHA-insured loan is to look at the mortgage, which is available online in ACRIS or the County Clerk’s office. FHA loans have an FHA case number in the top-right corner of the mortgage. Another way is to look at the mortgage statement and to see if there is a line item for a Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP).

FHA Streamline Refinance

The FHA Streamline Refinance is a program analogous to HARP for FHA loans, scheduled to take effect by October 2017 as a replacement for HARP. In the FHA Streamline Refinance, the borrower is refinanced either into a lower interest rate or from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate. As with HARP, origination fees do apply, but are financed, rather than paid out of pocket.

The basic requirements:

  • The mortgage must already be FHA insured.
  • The borrower must have a perfect payment history stretching back 12 months.
  • The refinance will result in a lower monthly principal and interest payments.
  • There is no verification of employment, nor are pay stubs, W-2s or tax returns required for approval.
  • The borrower can be unemployed and get approved for a FHA Streamline Refinance so long as he or she still meets the other program requirements.
  • FHA does not verify credit scores as part of the FHA Streamline Refinance program.
  • No cash may be taken out on mortgages refinanced using the streamline refinance process.
  • The borrower must demonstrate that there’s a net tangible benefit in the refinance.
    • What is considered a net tangible benefit can vary from servicer to servicer, but refinancing from an ARM into a fixed rate loan could fall into that category.