Industry NewsMortgage

Home Affordable Refinancing Program revamped to boost refis

Lenders shielded from claims associated with original loan

In an attempt to boost participation in the Obama administration's mortgage refinance program, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will release lenders who sign off on a refinanced loan from some legal liabilities associated with the original loan.Mortgage market analysts view the waiver of so-called seller servicer "representations and warrants" on Home Affordable Refinancing Program (HARP) loans as the most significant of a series of changes announced today by Fannie and Freddie's regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency.Fannie and Freddie will also lift the current 125 percent loan-to-value (LTV) cap on HARP refinancings, and sign off on refis without an appraisal if they have reliable automated valuation model (AVM) estimates for the property.The new HARP guidelines also eliminate some risk-based fees if homeowners refinance into shorter-term mortgages that will get them out from negative equity situations more quickly.A homeowner with a $200,0000 loan on a home worth only $1...

Comments