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HARP Refi's Available Through First eMortgage

Refinancing an underwater mortgage may seem like a long shot but, thanks to the recent extension through 2015 of the government-backed Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), homeowners stuck with mortgages worth more than the value of their homes could get some additional relief.

Created in 2009, HARP aimed to help homeowners with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac backed loans who are current on their mortgages but unable to refinance because the value of their home had declined too much. From the fourth quarter of 2011 through the first quarter of 2013, roughly 1.375 million borrowers have refinanced through HARP, exceeding the original estimate of 1 million borrowers. Estimates show that there are still roughly 1.5 million HARP-eligible borrowers.

To be eligible for a HARP loan with First Community Bank and Trust, loans must be backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and have originated prior to June 1, 2009. Additionally, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers must have a credit score of at least 620 and be current on their mortgage payments with no late payments in the last 12 months. Underwater borrowers that have already taken advantage of a HARP loan are not eligible to refinance again under this program.

Applicants who meet the HARP requirements are encouraged to begin the refinancing process through First eMortgage, our online mortgage application program. If, upon completing the application it is denied with the explanation "there are no products available" the applicant should call our mortgage loan department to discuss the possibility of a HARP refinance.

Tips for completing an online application
Completing our online application is as easy as 1-2-3! We'll ask you questions about your personal finances and the home. You'll probably know all the answers off the top of your head.

The application is broken down into sections and you can track your progress through each section at the top of each screen. It should take less than 20 minutes to complete the application.

Move through the application by using the back and next arrows at the bottom of each screen. Don't use the back and next button on your browser while you're completing the application.

Because we evaluate the information we need based on your answers you may notice that some of the questions may change, disappear or new ones may be added instantly. This helps to minimize wasting time by asking only for the information that's important in your situation.

If you need additional help answering a question, click on the question mark at the end of the question for more information.

If you don't have time to complete the application right now or if you need to gather information before you finish, the information you have completed will be saved. When you're ready to finish, return to the site and enter your User ID and password to continue.

About First Community Bank and Trust
First Community Bank and Trust is a privately owned bank. Established in 1916 First Community Bank and Trust has been serving Beecher, IL, Peotone, IL and the surrounding communities for over 95 years. Our commitment to providing the best banking products and services is matched only by our outstanding customer service. We offer traditional community banking services, including mortgage, consumer, and commercial lending, as well as state of the art electronic banking services.

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Press Contact:
Steven D. Koehn, VP
First Community Bank and Trust
(708) 946-2246