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HARP Refinance Program Extended Until 2015

As many had predicted, the popular Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) was extended today until December 31, 2015.

The program was set to expire at the end of the year, but apparently the FHFA isn’t satisfied with the more than two million homeowners who have already refinanced via HARP.

FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco said in a release that the program is being extended to reach more underwater homeowners so they can benefit from the lower mortgage rates currently on offer.

HARP Nationwide Campaign Coming Soon

The FHFA plans to launch a nationwide campaign to inform homeowners about HARP, even though the program has been around for several years now.

21% of Refis Went Through HARP in January

The FHFA also released its latest Refinance Report on Monday, during the first month of the year, a total of 97,600 refinances were completed via HARP, accounting for roughly 21% of the 470,000 total refinances during the month.

Amazingly, HARP seems to be the only game in town in certain states. For example, 66% of all refi volume in Nevada went through HARP in January – the same was true for 56% of refis in Florida.

Last year, a total of 1,074,754 refinances were completed through HARP, and if January’s numbers are any indication, 2013 could be an even bigger year.

The total number of refis completed via HARP now stands at just over 2.2 million.

Additionally, many of the refis completed through HARP were for high loan-to-value (LTV) loans, those that tend to be most at risk of default.

In January, 47% of HARP refis were for LTV ratios above 105%, meaning those with no home equity could enjoy a lower mortgage rate thanks to the program.

And 25% of loans refinanced via HARP had LTV ratios greater than 125%, a godsend for the many deeply underwater homeowners out there.

In January, 18% of HARP refinances for underwater borrowers were for shorter loan terms, either 15-year fixed or 20-year fixed mortgages, as opposed to the traditional 30-year fixed.

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