Fannie Mae (FNM/NYSE) announced today that the company is providing information to servicers regarding changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) that permits refinancing of existing Fannie Mae loans with loan-to-value (LTV) ratios up to 125 percent. The loans will be eligible for delivery on or after September 1, 2009.
“This step aims to reach even more borrowers who would benefit from a lower payment,” said Michael J. Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Many borrowers in good standing have been shut out from the benefits of refinancing due to significant declines in property values across the country. By broadening the scope of the initiative, more borrowers will experience savings on their monthly mortgage payments and have a better chance of sustaining homeownership over the long term.”
Previously, HARP allowed for refinancing of Fannie Mae loans with LTVs up to 105 percent. With the expansion, loans with LTVs above 105 percent and up to 125 percent will be eligible for refinancing through the company’s Refi Plus™ manual underwriting option. For loans with LTVs above 105 percent, borrowers must refinance through their existing servicer and the new loans must be fully amortizing fixed-rate mortgages with terms greater than 15 years up to 30 years.
In conjunction with the LTV eligibility expansion, Fannie Mae will offer a special .50 percent reduction in the loan-level price adjustment charged for loans with LTVs above 105 percent and loan terms of 20 and 25 years. The reduction is intended to incent borrowers to select shorter terms and build positive equity in their homes sooner than with a typical 30-year mortgage.
HARP is part of the Administration’s Making Home Affordable plan aimed at stabilizing the housing market, helping Americans reduce their mortgage payments to more affordable levels, and preventing avoidable foreclosures. For more information, visit Making Home Affordable.gov