NEW FEDERAL PROGRAM ROLLED OUT
TO HELP REFINANCE
The regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), unveiled a program aimed at homeowners who are paying their mortgages on time but whose loan-to-value (LTV) ratios are too high to qualify for traditional refinance programs.
To be eligible for this new program, which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will implement, borrowers must have not missed any mortgage payments in the last six months; must not have skipped more than one payment in the previous 12 months; must have a source of income and must receive a benefit from the refinance such as a reduction in their monthly loan payment.
This will be especially helpful to hundreds of Valley families in Visalia, Tulare and Porterville. The new program will give borrowers the opportunity to refinance when rates are low, making their mortgages more affordable and thus reducing credit risk exposure for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both Government Sponsored Enterprises.
Because this program for high LTV borrowers will not be available until October 2017, the FHFA will extend the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) until September 30, 2017 as a bridge to the new high LTV program.
HARP was introduced in 2009 to help underwater borrowers following the housing bust. More than 3.4 million homeowners have refinanced their mortgage through the program. More than 300,000 homeowners could still refinance through HARP.
Borrowers with existing HARP loans are not eligible for the new offering unless they have refinanced out of HARP using one of the traditional refinance products offered by Freddie and Fannie, FHFA said.
In contrast to HARP, there are no eligibility cut-off dates connected with the new high LTV program, and homeowners will be able to use it more than once to refinance their mortgage, according to FHFA.
If you have questions about the new program, call your local mortgage lender, they can explain how it can help your family.
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