Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue to refinance qualifying borrowers who have lost equity in their home without requiring additional mortgage insurance for another year under the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP.

HARP, which was scheduled to expire June 30, will stay open for business for another year, and Freddie Mac will exempt the refinancings from recently announced price increases, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said in announcing the one-year extension.

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to note that Fannie Mae will consider HARP refinancings of loans made on or before May 31, 2009.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue to refinance qualifying borrowers who have lost equity in their home without requiring additional mortgage insurance for another year under the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP.

HARP, which was scheduled to expire June 30, will stay open for business for another year, and Freddie Mac will exempt the refinancings from recently announced price increases, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said in announcing the one-year extension.

In addition, Fannie Mae is extending its previous Jan. 1, 2009, eligibility date by five months and will now consider HARP refinancings of loans made on or before May 31, 2009.

Only borrowers who are current on mortgages that are already owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are eligible for the program. Although loans of up to 125 percent of a home’s current market value are eligible, the vast majority of loans refinanced to date under HARP have had loan-to-value ratios of 105 percent or less.

In 2010, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchased or guaranteed more than 3.6 million refinanced mortgages. Of this total, 402,924 were HARP refinances with LTVs between 80 percent and 105 percent, and 28,699 were loans with LTVs greater than 105 percent, according to the most recent numbers from FHFA.

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