Tag Archives: refinance

Fannie and Freddie extend refinance program

HARP program will continue through September 2017, FHFA says

Companies will launch a new refinance program in October 2017

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are extending one of the most successful federal programs enacted in response to the mortgage crisis into next year, even as the pool of borrowers who could benefit from it continues to shrink.

Borrowers can continue to use the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, though September next year, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates the mortgage-finance companies, said Thursday. HARP allows some borrowers to refinance to a lower rate even if the equity they have in their home is less than 20 percent, the typical cutoff for some refinances.

read more at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-25/fannie-mae-freddie-mac-extend-crisis-era-refinance-program

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Even Without Congress, Some Refi Help May Be Coming

Though it was pronounced dead before arrival by opponents on Capitol Hill, President Barack Obama’s new mortgage refinancing package contained far more than legislative proposals.

In fact, significant portions of it that have received little media coverage require no prior approval from a hyperpartisan Congress and could begin affecting consumers within weeks. Here’s a quick rundown on key segments of the housing proposals with a handicapping of their likely impact this year:

Going nowhere: If you’ve got an underwater mortgage that isn’t owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the president’s marquee proposal to help you refinance into a 4 percent mortgage is not likely to be of assistance. The plan’s core concept of funding your rate cut by levying a fee on the largest banks — “based on their size and the riskiness of their activities” — would be a nonstarter politically even if this weren’t an election year. R.I.P.

Moving fast: Refinancings can be speeded up administratively by key executive branch agencies, and the new program directs them to do so within the next few weeks wherever possible. For example, the Federal Housing Administration will be removing a major barrier for lenders to “streamline” refinancings for current, non-delinquent borrowers who want to take advantage of today’s low rates. The FHA no longer will count streamlined refis — where some standard underwriting requirements are waived — against lenders’ performance ratings on delinquencies. The fear of getting a poor rating is a powerful deterrent for many lenders against doing streamlined refis, because they can lose their eligibility to do loans for the FHA altogether. Removing ratings as a barrier should help significant numbers of FHA borrowers get into a better deal.

At the same time, the White House has ordered all the other federal agencies with homebuyer programs to clear the decks for streamlined refis of their existing customers. For example, the Agriculture Department, which runs the third-largest and fastest-growing program — last fiscal year, its loan guarantees funded more than 130,000 home purchases in communities on the fringes of major metropolitan areas — is expected to waive requirements for new credit reports, appraisals and other documentation for streamlined refinancings. The main requirement for hundreds of thousands of existing USDA borrowers who want to switch to a lower loan rate: Just be on time with your current payments.

Read more: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/feb/12/tp-even-without-congress-some-refi-help-may-be/

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How to Figure the Fuzzy Math of Internet Home Values

Websites may be a good starting place, but when determining the value of your home you need a licensed professional that does not average the sales price of every home within a 1 mile radius.  Imagine you have an ocean front house but the website uses properties across the street (no beach front or ocean view; your property blocks their view, properties blocks away, etc.  How would you figure out the adjustments for your beach front.   Again this is where you need an appraiser.  Contact the appraisers at www.socalappraisalserv.com for you value questions.

Jason Gonsalves worked hard to turn his 6,500-square-foot stucco-and-stone home in the suburbs of Sacramento into the ultimate grown-up party pad, complete with game room, custom wine cellar and an infinity-edge pool overlooking Folsom Lake. When interest rates fell recently, Mr. Gonsalves, who runs a lobbying firm, looked into refinancing his $750,000 mortgage. That’s when he got startling news—the home had dropped more than $200,000 in value while he was renovating.

Or at least, that’s what one real-estate website told him. Another valued the house at only $640,500. And these online estimates left him all the more confused when a real-life appraiser, assessing the house for the refinancing loan, pinned its value at $1.5 million. “I have no idea how those numbers could be so different,” Mr. Gonsalves says.

Right or wrong, they’re the numbers millions of consumers are clamoring for. After years of real-estate pros holding all the informational cards in the home-sale game, Web-driven companies like Zillow, Homes.com and Realtor.com are reshuffling the deck, giving home shoppers and owners estimates of what almost any home is worth. People have flocked to the data in startling numbers: Together, four of the biggest sites that offer home-value estimates get 100 million visits a month, with web surfers using them to determine what to ask or bid for a home, or whether to refinance.

Read the entire article at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204554204577026131448329006.html

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