The recently unveiled HARP 2.0 initiative should be “fully” operational in 30 days and is already exceeding expectations, according to Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary Shaun Donovan.

Donovan told a Senate panel Tuesday that 50,000 HARP 2.0 refinancings have closed since the program was introduced late last year.

In addition, an informal survey by the agency found that almost 300,000 applications have been filed. "We are encouraged by those numbers so far," the secretary said.

The Obama administration continues to work with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to get more lenders involved in HARP 2.0, a streamlined version of an earlier government refi program.

FHFA acting director Edward DeMarco testified it will be a "few months" before Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and most of the industry implement the HARP 2.0 changes.

"Already many of the largest lenders are seeing tremendous borrower interest and we expect to see an increase in HARP volume in the coming reports," DeMarco said.

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