>A solution for having a more manageable mortgage payment or better interest, particularly with the drastically fluctuating real estate market, is refinancing. In fact, refinancing underwater or adjustable-rate mortgages has been one of the solutions to combat foreclosures. As of 2009, the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, has been one of the government’s efforts to create lower monthly payments and interest for U.S. homeowners.

According to a recent press release, the Federal Housing Finance Agency found the number of refinancing cases increased from October to November 2012. Specifically, October 2012 saw 91,000 homeowners refinance their mortgages with HARP, with the amount jumping up to 130,000 in November. November’s amount was the second-highest total in 2012.

Since its start nearly four years ago, HARP has assisted 2 million Americans with refinancing. As this program is not the only option, many more homeowners have switched to lower payments, lower interest, or from an adjustable-rate to a fixed-rate mortgage.

Refinancing is an option for homeowners in both solid and unstable markets. As McCue Mortgage points out, homeowners can refinance to lower their monthly payments, to take equity out on the home for another purchase (such as college), to change from a fixed-rate to an adjustable rate mortgage, or to opt for an ARM with lower rates. Brokers and lenders keep in mind a homeowner’s financial goals and the current interest rate for new loans.

Nevertheless, the press release indicates, homeowners unable to make their payments still end up filing for foreclosure. John Taylor, president of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, said in a statement: “A lot of the low-hanging fruit has already been picked, those modifications where a simple interest rate reduction solves the problem. What’s needed now is principal reduction in order to keep those who are still working and struggling to pay their mortgage in their homes, rather than adding them to a list of foreclosures.”