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Why HARP 2.0 is not going to take off like a scalded dog

Commentary: I did the math -- please prove me wrong

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Breaking news -- HARP 2.0 is not going to take care of the housing crisis in the long run. The reason: HARP 1.0 failed in the short run. Of the 4 million families with underwater mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, my guess is that 140,000 will actually refinance, and 140,000 will go into foreclosure. I did the math. To set the stage: HARP 2.0 – HARP stands for Home Affordable Refinance Program -- is "being billed as an improvement over the 3-year-old version that just about everyone acknowledges didn't help anyone," according to reporter Al Heavens of the Philadelphia Inquirer.The reason for that failure, Heavens says, is that the original program had limits on loan-to-value ratio, the amount of a mortgage as a percentage of the appraised value-say, $300,000 versus $150,000 -- the borrower wasn't allowed to refinance.In other words, HARP 1.0 failed because it was ill-conceived. Do you know anyone who has done a quantifiable market study to determine HAR...