HARP Refinance Loans in 2012 Outnumber Those in 2011. The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that the total number of Home Affordable Refinance Program loans made in 2012 so far outstrip those made in 2011 during the same timeframe. The total number of HARP loans made from January of 2012 till July of 2012 amount to 519,339 across the United States. During the same time in 2011, the total number of HARP loans was 400,024, reports theFHFA.
The main contributing factors are related to relief of loan-to-value overlays, which initially prohibited underwater homeowners to successfully refinance. With that overlay removed, those homeowners with technically negative equity can still refinance and thus make their payments more affordable. All Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans are eligible, assuming the borrower is current on the mortgage and has only had a mortgage late in the past year (and that late could have not have occurred in the most recent 6 months).
The other main factor is the ultra-low interest rate environment we currently live in. With rates so low, homeowners have a heavy incentive to refinance—even if underwater—since payments will likely decrease. In some cases, it’s been noted that many homeowners are opting for20-Year fixed mortgages and 15-Year fixed mortgagesin order to reduce their terms and build equity faster.
While it hasn’t been the all-in-one solution to the housing and mortgage industry, HARPhas proven to be beneficial to the many homeowners it’s helped so are.
Copyright © 2012 MortgageLoan Corp.