A privately owned New York-based direct lender, Lend America, says it’s finalizing a transaction that will help a "major financial institution" refinance up to $1 billion of its portfolio of residential mortgages into the FHA’s HOPE for Homeowners loan guarantee program.

A privately owned New York-based direct lender, Lend America, says it’s finalizing a transaction that will help a "major financial institution" refinance up to $1 billion of its portfolio of residential mortgages into the FHA’s HOPE for Homeowners loan guarantee program.

Lend America announced a specialized HOPE for Homeowners outreach program to help institutional investors, such as Wall Street banks and hedge funds, recapture principal from non-performing loans.

The Melville, N.Y.-based company, which is licensed in more than 40 states, claims it’s in negotiations with several other financial institutions to help them refinance troubled assets.

Many types of loans, current and delinquent, are eligible for refinancing under the HOPE for Homeowners program — including conventional prime, alt-A, and subprime mortgages with fixed or adjustable rates. But the loans must have been originated on or before Jan. 1, and the borrower must have made at least six payments on the existing mortgage.

Not all lenders are willing to participate in the the program, as it will only fund loans equal to 90 percent of a home’s current appraised value, which is often less than the balance of loans secured by the home.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development on Thursday published a list of more than five dozen lenders who are originating new HOPE for Homeowners loans (see story).

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