Industry NewsMortgage

Should government back subprime refis?

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

Mark Greco has been so happy with the Home Affordable Refinance Program 2.0 that rolled out in January that he's now dreaming of HARP 3.0. That's because Greco, president of 360 Mortgage Group in Austin, Texas, saw the HARP changes coming down the pike, recognized how important it was going to be for homeowners still underwater on their mortgages, and committed his company to supporting it, as they say down in Texas, "whole hog." Today, the economy is improving, new-home sales are on the uptick, but there are still quite a number of Americans who are underwater on their mortgages. The government's first attempt to fix that problem with HARP worked poorly, as the program had a pretty big flaw: It had a restriction of 125 percent loan-to-value. In other words, if your mortgage was $200,000 but during the Great Recession your home depreciated in value to $125,000, you couldn't refinance through HARP. The situation in many states, especially in the Northeast, Flori...