Industry NewsMortgage

Guidelines for loan mods, refis released

'Home Affordable' program aimed at helping 9 million homeowners

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The Obama administration has released the guidelines that loan servicers will use to determine who is eligible for mortgage loan modifications and refinancings under a new initiative aimed at helping up to 9 million homeowners avoid foreclosure. The Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan's "Home Affordable Refinance" component will rely on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to refinance 4 million to 5 million mortgages for borrowers who might otherwise be unable to refinance because their homes have lost value and they have less than 20 percent equity in their property. First American CoreLogic released a report Wednesday estimating that more than 8.3 million homeowners were "upside down" at the end of 2008, meaning they owed more on their mortgage than their homes were worth. The "Home Affordable Modification" component of the initiative will provide insurance and incentives for both borrowers and lenders that the Obama administration hopes will g...