More Underwater Borrowers Grasp Lifeline

The government’s Home Affordable Refinancing Program (HARP) saw a 75% growth over all of last year in the first nine months of 2012, amounting to 700,000 loans, according to nationalmortgagenews. Edward DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) suggested the numbers might hit one million by year’s end. Backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the loans sparked after rules were changed that encouraged lender involvement, financing more than 1.7 million mortgages since the program began in 2009. Geared to help underwater borrowers, over 40% of the HARP refinances through the third quarter of this year went to those borrowers. As MHProNews has learned, mortgages that exceeded the value of the underlying homes by at least 25% accounted for a quarter of the 90,000 HARP loans in Sept.

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