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Tag Archives: Freddie Mac

CoreLogic Identifies HARP 2.0 ‘Winners and Losers’

The administration unveiled its revamped Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) last week to allow borrowers who owe significantly more than their home is worth take out new loans with lower interest rates. CoreLogic says the impact will be targeted to those markets and local economies that have suffered the most from the housing collapse. The company believes HARP 2.0 will be positive for the GSEs and the origination market, negative for bondholders, and neutral for housing itself because distressed borrowers and shadow inventory are left out of the equation.

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Officials Say GSE Bailout Will Cost Less Than Originally Estimated

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has lowered its projection for just how much taxpayer funding is needed to support the nation's two largest mortgage financiers. FHFA estimates that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will need between $220 billion and $311 billion from the American people when all is said and done. Those figures represent capital assistance from September 2008, when the two mortgage giants were placed into conservatorship, through the end of 2014.

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Senators Urge Government to Act Fast to Create an REO Rental Program

Thirty-three senators have put out a letter encouraging the Obama administration and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to work quickly in developing a program to make vacant foreclosed homes available for rent. The administration is currently sifting through responses to the request for information (RFI) it issued in August regarding an REO rental program. The senators want federal officials to respond with a timeline for when they expect to finish reviewing the RFIs and their next steps.

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Big Four Set to Participate in HARP 2.0

The industry's four largest mortgage servicers all say they will be taking part in the revamped Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). Bank of America, Chase, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo have each expressed their support of the program and the changes that will allow more underwater homeowners to refinance. Government officials expect the program's revisions to expand its reach and increase competition for mortgage refinancing, with an estimated 1 million homeowners to receive assistance under the new guidelines.

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Rep. Garrett Lays Out Plan for Fast-Tracking Housing Finance Reform

Rep. Scott Garrett, chairman of the House subcommittee responsible for matters related to the nation's two largest mortgage financiers, says Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not only systemically dangerous to economic security, but their government-sanctioned structure is ""un-American."" Garrett has unveiled his plan for putting housing finance reform on the fast track by ensuring private investors are ready to take up the slack from the GSEs. The sheer dominance of the two companies, however, leads some in the industry to err on the side of caution.

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Fixed Mortgage Rates Show Little Movement

Fixed mortgage rates showed little change for the second consecutive week amid mixed consumer confidence and housing data, and remain near their 60-year lows. Freddie Mac puts the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage at 4.10 percent for the week ending October 27, and the 15-year rate at 3.38 percent. Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) exhibited slightly wider swings.

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Freddie Mac’s Chief Executive to Resign

Freddie Mac CEO Charles E. Haldeman Jr. has informed the GSE's board of directors that he plans to step down ""some time in the coming year."" The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) says Haldeman has assured the board and FHFA that he will remain as CEO until a succession plan has been put in place. Haldeman has stood at the helm of Freddie Mac since August 2009. He is the third individual to hold the chief executive position since the company was placed into conservatorship by the federal government in September 2008.

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HARP’s Rep and Warranty Waiver: Will It Spark a Refinancing Frenzy?

With the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) retooling of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), one change in particular may hold the answer to just how much of an impact the initiative will have -- FHFA's decision to waive representations and warranties on loans that are refinanced through the program. The debate has already begun about whether such a move will indeed persuade lenders to step up participation in the program. Some lenders do see it as an opportunity, but market analysts say the rep and warranty waiver may be less effective than expected.

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FHFA’s Home Price Index Breaks Four-Month Run of Gains

The monthly home price index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has recorded its first decline since March. FHFA reported Tuesday that home prices in the U.S. fell 0.1 percent from July to August, and the previously reported 0.8 percent increase recorded for July was revised to reflect no change. Data released the very same day by Standard & Poor's showed a 0.2 percent increase in the Case-Shiller home price index for the same period. Economists say FHFA's index is ""a better barometer.""

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Administration Announces Refinance Program for Underwater Borrowers

It's official. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has unveiled a new, revamped government mortgage refinancing program. The initiative involves a series of rule changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) to allow more underwater homeowners to reduce their mortgage debt by taking advantage of today's rock-bottom interest rates. Under the revised HARP guidelines, the 125 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ceiling has been removed, and risk-based fees have been adjusted.

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