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Tag Archives: Refinance

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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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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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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Home Closing Timelines Increase, Especially in Distressed Market

Refinance applications and appraisal complications are holding up home sale closings, according to a HousingPulse survey released Monday. The report states that the normal timeline for a closing is about 30 days. That timeline has been extended to between 45 and 60 days. However, the delay is even more exacerbated among short sales and sales of foreclosed homes - which according to the survey made up 44.4 percent of the market in September.

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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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Mortgage Rates Hold Steady Following Steep Increases Last Week

Average mortgage rates were relatively unchanged this week amid mixed economic and consumer sentiment reports, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable mortgage rates were mixed while fixed mortgage rates held steady remaining near their 60-year lows. The GSE's study puts the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.11 percent, down slightly from 4.12 percent last week. The 15-year fixed rate rose one basis point to 3.38 percent.

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Beige Book Cites Economic Growth but Weakness in Real Estate

The Federal Reserve released a new rendition of its market-gauging Beige Book Wednesday, which provides an assessment of regional conditions from those outside the Fed system and in the field. Reports from the 12 districts indicate that overall economic activity continued to expand in September. On the real estate front, though, home sales remained weak with prices either flat or declining across the entire country. Although commercial construction increased at a slow pace, that sector too was described as ""weak.""

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CoreLogic and Amherst Announce Prepayment Analyzer

CoreLogic and Amherst Holdings, LLC, have partnered to release the Agency Prepayment Analyzer, an online investment analysis tool. The analyzer intertwines CoreLogic's data with Amherst's analytics and forecasting to deliver prepayment risk trends for agency mortgage-backed securities. Designed for fixed-income investors, Agency Prepayment Analyzer tracks the rates at which residential mortgage loans prepay, either voluntarily or involuntarily due to refinancing, defaults, or sales - instances in which the GSEs require buybacks.

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States and Servicers Consider New Proposal for Aiding Those Underwater

Help for underwater homeowners has moved from principal writedowns to refinancing in the settlement negotiations between state attorneys general and the nation's five largest mortgage servicers. According to a widely circulated report, the proposal made its way into the talks last week. Borrowers who are current on their mortgage payments but owe more than their home is worth would be able to refinance at today's lower rates. The main caveat is that the loan must be owned, not just serviced, by one of the five banks.

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Major Banks Accused of Defrauding Veterans, Taxpayers

While five major banks continue to deliberate with the state attorneys general for a settlement involving violations in mortgage documentation, the same five banks, plus several others, also face charges for committing fraud against veterans and taxpayers. Defendants accuse 13 banks of ""a brazen scheme to defraud both our nation's veterans and the United States Treasury of millions of dollars"" by overcharging borrowers in connection with home loans refinanced through a U.S. Veterans Affairs program.

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