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HARP Refinances Continue Climb Under Revised Program

""Fannie Mae"":http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/index.html and ""Freddie Mac"":http://www.freddiemac.com/ refinanced more than 90,000 mortgages through the ""Home Affordable Refinance Program"":http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/programs/lower-rates/Pages/harp.aspx (HARP) in September, bringing the program's total reach to 1.7 million since its inception in 2009, according to the latest ""refinance report"":http://www.fhfa.gov/webfiles/24701/Sept2012RefinanceReport.pdf from the ""Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)"":http://www.fhfa.gov/.


In total, about 431,000 Fannie and Freddie loans were refinanced in September, 90,000 of them through the federal program.

The rate of HARP refinances have increased since the program was revised in the fall of 2011 to expand its reach.

Year-to-date, 709,000 loans have been refinanced through HARP, already far exceeding last year's total of about 400,000.


In the third quarter, 24 percent of all loans refinanced were completed through HARP.

The HARP revisions have helped extend the program to homeowners with high loan-to-value (LTV) ratios.

Half the loans refinanced through HARP in September had LTVs of more than 105 percent. This is in keeping with the previous month's 51 percent and slightly higher than the year-to-date share of 43 percent. About one-quarter of the loans refinanced through HARP in September had LTVs exceeding 125 percent.

Additionally, HARP refinances make up a significant portion of refinances in the states hardest hit by the housing crisis. In Nevada, Arizona, Florida, and Georgia, HARP refinances made up 45 percent of all refinances completed in September. This compares with HARP's 21 percent nationwide share for the month.

FHFA also points out more than 70 percent of HARP refinances that took place in Nevada, Arizona, and Florida in September had LTVs of greater than 105 percent. In California, the rate was 60 percent.

The share of HARP refinances that place homeowners in 15- and 20-year loans as opposed to 30-year loans is also on the rise. In 2011, 15- and 20-year loans accounted for just 10 percent of HARP refinances. Year-to-date, about 18 percent have placed homeowners in these shorter-term loans.

About Author: Krista Franks Brock

Krista Franks Brock is a professional writer and editor who has covered the mortgage banking and default servicing sectors since 2011. Previously, she served as managing editor of DS News and Southern Distinction, a regional lifestyle publication. Her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Consumers Digest, Dallas Style and Design, DS News and DSNews.com, MReport and theMReport.com. She holds degrees in journalism and art from the University of Georgia.

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