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Refinance Volumes on the Rise for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

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RISMEDIA, August 18, 2009-Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinanced more than 2.9 million mortgage loans in 2009 through July of this year. Since the inception of the Making Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) in April, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinanced almost 1.9 million mortgage loans through July. The numbers were announced by James B. Lockhart, Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, in the first monthly report on Enterprises’ refinance volumes and the Administration’s Making Home Affordable Refinance Program.

“This report shows that more than 190,000 homeowners that are current in their mortgage payments have been assisted through the GSE streamlined refinance process,” said Lockhart. “Borrowers refinancing their loans are enjoying significant interest rate reductions refinancing through the GSE streamlined refinance process with an average rate reduction of 1.3%.

Importantly, over 60,000 borrowers with mortgage loans that exceed 80% of the house value up to 105% have been refinanced. We are now seeing significant results from the HARP and the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), but much more work needs to be done. I commend the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac teams for helping drive this effort.”

Under HARP, borrowers whose loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is above 80% up to 105% are able to refinance without added mortgage insurance requirements, a previous key barrier to refinancing. Through July, Fannie Mae had refinanced 1.7 million loans. Of that total, approximately 138,000 loans were refinanced under the company’s DU Refi Plus and Refi Plus flexibilities that were put in place to support the HARP. Approximately 32,000 of the loans refinanced through July had LTVs above 80% up to 105%.

Freddie Mac refinanced 1.2 million loans through July. Of that total, approximately 53,000 loans were refinanced under the company’s Relief Refinance program that was put in place to support HARP. Freddie Mac had refinanced approximately 29,000 loans with LTVs above 80% up to 105%.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency recently announced the expansion of HARP to allow borrowers with LTVs up to 125% to participate. Fannie Mae will begin accepting deliveries of refinanced loans with LTVs over 105% up to 125% as of September 1. Freddie Mac will begin accepting deliveries of these loans on October 1.

For more information, visit www.fhfa.gov.

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