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Freddie Mac Announces Planned Changes to Relief Refinance Program

""Freddie Mac"":http://www.freddiemac.com/ announced Tuesday its plans to expand on its Relief Refinance Mortgage Program by aligning separate mortgage requirements.

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The GSE announced that it will align requirements for mortgages with loan-to-value (LTV) ratios that are equal to or less than 80 percent with those for mortgages with LTV ratios greater than 80 percent. The alignment is expected to eliminate many of the lender's selling representation and warranty responsibilities on loans being refinanced.

Details are scheduled to be announced to lenders by mid-September, allowing them to start taking applications as soon as possible for loans to be delivered as early as January 1 of next year.

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In addition, Freddie Mac said it is evaluating the Relief Refinance program by focusing on its Open Access offering and determining the best approach to maximize the program's reach. The Open Access option allows eligible borrowers with Freddie Mac mortgages to apply for Relief Refinance mortgages, including HARP 2.0, through lenders other than their own current servicer.

The upcoming Relief Refinance Mortgage changes are expected to streamline the program so lenders can make refinancing more accessible to borrowers to Freddie Mac owned- or guaranteed mortgages. The changes are based on feedback from lenders about HARP 2.0.

Paul Mullings, SVP and interim head of single family at Freddie Mac, said the new changes will help build on the already great success of HARP 2.0.

""Once implemented the changes will give lenders a new measure of certainty and ease when they help borrowers with Freddie Mac owned- or guaranteed- mortgages take advantage of today's historically low mortgage rates,"" said Mullings. ""This will help us build on the success of the HARP 2.0 and Relief Refinance Mortgage programs of helping more than 1.3 million Freddie Mac borrowers. Today's announcement further underscores Freddie Mac's vital role in making affordable mortgage financing available to America's homeowners and future homebuyers.""

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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