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Home Affordable Refinance eligibility expanded to 125 percent LTV

July 8, 2009

Fannie Mae last week announced the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) will be expanded to permit refinancing of existing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans with current loan-to-value ratios (LTVs) up to 125 percent, an increase from the current LTV limit of 105 percent. Fannie Mae characterized the expansion as a move to help lenders serve more borrowers with a demonstrated track record of paying their mortgages, but who have been unable to refinance due to significant property value declines. Loans with LTVs above 105 percent will be eligible for a same-servicer refinance under the Refi Plus manual underwriting option, and the new loan must be a fully amortizing fixed-rate mortgage with a term greater than 15 years, up to 30 years. Fannie Mae is evaluating potential updates to Desktop Underwriter to allow LTV ratios above 105 percent.

In conjunction with the LTV expansion, Fannie Mae also announced it is offering a 0.50 percentage point reduction in the loan-level price adjustment (LLPA) charged for manually underwritten Refi Plus loans with LTVs above 105 percent and loan terms greater than 15 years, up to 25 years.  Refi Plus mortgage loans with LTV ratios that exceed 105 percent are eligible for whole loan purchase or delivery into MBS on or after September 1, 2009. Please refer to Announcement 09-23 for information about a new MBS prefix and other operational and delivery details for loans with LTVs above 105 percent.

Freddie Mac announced a similar 125 percent LTV expansion July 1; details are available here.

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