Bank of the Cascades Expands Support to Underwater Homeowners


Enhanced HARP Refinancing Program Now Available at Bank of the Cascades

Bank of the Cascades is offering newly expanded refinancing assistance for homeowners who are “underwater” and owe more than the present value of their homes. This enhanced offering, recently made available through the Federal government’s expanded HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program), is designed to assist borrowers who may not otherwise have qualified for refinancing because of declining home values and previous Loan to Value (LTV) ratio requirements.

The Bank is participating in the expanded program, which now eliminates previous limits placed on LTVs, enabling Bank of the Cascades to help more homeowners keep their homes and make their monthly payments more affordable.

“We are eager to help our neighbors take advantage of the expanded Program as well as current market rates, which are at an all-time low,” said Terry Zink, president and CEO of Bank of the Cascades. “We want to see our customers refinance, retain their homes and reduce their monthly mortgage payments. The enhanced HARP program provides a great opportunity, and we need to make sure people know it’s available here at Bank of the Cascades.”

Lance VanSooy, Bank of the Cascades vice president and mortgage regional manager adds, “Our goal is to help keep people in their homes by offering this expanded HARP program. As a community bank, that’s what we’re all about. We’re here as a resource and we would like to invite those in our communities who need assistance to call us for more information and talk about their options.”

One of the key differences between the new HARP and the previous one is that the prior program – introduced in early 2009 by The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Department of the Treasury as part of the Obama Administration’s Making Home Affordable program – offered refinancing options only to homeowners whose home values were slightly lower than their current mortgages (an LTV ratio of 125%).

The newly-expanded HARP is now available to all Fannie Mae loan recipients whose loans closed prior to June 2009, regardless of how much their home values have dropped below their current mortgages. Essentially, removing the limitation on the LTV ratio has made HARP accessible to more people. In addition to providing refinancing options for underwater homeowners, the new HARP program may remove the requirement for home appraisals.

For more information about the expanded HARP program, contact the Bank of the Cascades Mortgage Center at (541) 385-9933 or toll free at (877) 385-9933. You also can call Fannie Mae at (800) 7FANNIE or visit them online at


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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