The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) had big news on Thursday in the realm of refinance, first announcing that they modified Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s streamlined refinance program for borrowers with high loan-to-value ratios by setting eligibility for loans originated on or after October 1, 2017. The agency says the goal of this modification is to, “help preserve credit loss protection on the loans without unwinding the protection paid for through CRT transactions.”
The second announcement was that the agency has extended the deadline for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) to December 31, 2018. This is the fourth time HARP has been extended. FHFA estimates that HARP could still help more than 143,000 homeowners refinance their home.
Finally, FHFA release its Q2 2017 Refinance Report which shows that the volume of total refinances was on the rise in June due to a dip in mortgage rates during May, which fell to 4.01 percent for a 30-year fixed rate. Rates continued to fall in June, settling at 3.90 percent.
In the second quarter refinances through HARP amounted to a total of 9,707 completed refinances, bringing the total to a staggering 3,470,804 since the program was created. The nearly 10,000 refinances represent about 3 percent of the total refinance volume across the nation. In Nevada and Florida, HARP refinances account for 6 percent.
Eligibility requirements for HARP remain unchanged: loans must have been originated on or before May 31, 2009 and be guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Current loan-to-value ratio must be over 80 percent, and the borrower must be current on their mortgage payment with no more than one late payment in the past 12 months, and that must not have occurred 6 months prior to the refinance request.