It would appear that the HARP 2.0 program is hot.
GSE lenders and servicers refinanced more high LTV Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans during the first five months of this year than they did all of last year.
According to new figures compiled on the Home Affordable Refinance Program, 67,150 GSE mortgages with loan-to-value ratios above 105% and up to 125% were refinanced from the end of December through May, compared to 60,000 loans for all of 2011.
The figures, released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), found that so far this year lenders refinanced 11,100 loans with LTVs above 125%.
Refinancing of loans with LTV above 125% was not permitted until beginning of 2012. The FHFA expanded the HARP program last November and eliminated the 125% cap. It took the GSEs and their servicers several months—until March—to implement the changes which became known as HARP 2.0.
“These numbers show HARP 2.0 is accomplishing the goals set forth—to provide relief to borrowers who might otherwise be unable to refinance due to house price declines,” said FHFA acting director Edward DeMarco.
Borrowers must be current on their payments to take advantage of a HARP refinancing.
Overall, GSE lenders refinanced 67,500 borrowers with LTV’s above 80% in May, compared to 49,500 borrowers in April.
“HARP refinances represented over 40% of total refinances in Nevada, Arizona, Michigan and Florida, compared to 20% nationwide,” FHFA said.