Help available for underwater Ohio homeowners

(AP) — Struggling Ohio homeowners are being encouraged to refinance through the federal Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). The government said Ohio currently has more than 27,000 borrowers who are still eligible for the program that expires Dec. 31. Those borrowers could save an average of $1,456 a year by refinancing.

The information comes in the midst of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) social media campaign, #HARPNow, on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to get the word out about the program.

HARP was established in March 2009 to help homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth. Qualified candidates are those homeowners who are current in their mortgage payments but who are unable to refinance through traditional channels due to dropping home prices.

According to the HARP web site,, the lending limits for a single family home in Pickaway County is $233,700. So far, some 130,000 Ohio homeowners have refinanced through HARP.

Ohio homeowners who think they may be eligible for the program are encouraged to contact their mortgage lending bank.