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GSEs Refinance More than 2M Loans Through HARP

As of November 2012, ""Fannie Mae"":http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/index.html and ""Freddie Mac"":http://www.freddiemac.com/ have refinanced more than 2 million loans through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), the ""Federal Housing Finance Agency"":http://www.fhfa.gov/ (FHFA) ""reported"":http://www.fhfa.gov/webfiles/24967/Nov2012RefiReport.pdf Tuesday.

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As of the end of November, the GSEs have seen 2,088,560 HARP refinances since the program's inception. A ""data reporting change to provide consistency between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac results was incorporated,"" adding approximately 160,000 loans to the total HARP volume, FHFA said.

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According to FHFA, nearly 130,000 homeowners refinanced their mortgages through HARP in November alone, making it the second biggest month for HARP activity in 2012 (behind June's 137,000 HARP refinances). In addition, HARP volume represented 23 percent of total refinance volume in November.

Year-to-date, HARP volume stood at 998,294 in November, outpacing previous years. FHFA attributes the increase in activity to record-low mortgage rates and the implementation of program enhancements (""HARP 2.0"") designed to expand eligibility to more borrowers.

Approximately 46 percent of loans refinanced through HARP in November had loan-to-value (LTV) ratios greater than 105 percent, FHFA said. Twenty-four percent had LTVs greater than 125 percent.

Nevada and Florida both reported heightened activity in November. According to the report, HARP refinances represented 68 percent of total refinance volume in Nevada--nearly triple the national average--and 56 percent of total refinance volume in Florida.

Nearly half (46 percent) of November HARP refinances were for borrowers with loan-to-value ratios greater than 105 percent. Additionally, 17 percent of HARP refinances for underwater borrowers were for shorter-term 15- and 20-year mortgages, which build equity faster than the traditional 30-year loan.

About Author: Tory Barringer

Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington's student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News' sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news.
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