freddie mac

New HARP program expands benefits to more struggling homeowners

You may now be able to borrow a little more than your home is worth under some new changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). Under the current program (which expires at the end of 2013), Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae borrowers could get help with refinancing if the value of their home had declined and they owed more than the home was worth. Now, banks are more comfortable raising the loan-to-value caps to include more struggling homeowners. HARP 3.0 will cover borrowers not under Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and loans over $417,000 can now qualify.

It’s unclear when the new HARP program will take effect, but for now homeowners under those lenders still have options for refinancing.

Freddie Mac's REO inventory down



Freddie Mac reported its REO inventory is down 30% from 2010 peak levels of 75,000 homes. At 53,000 units as of last quarter, the numbers reveal a reason to be more optimistic about the housing market.

Even though REO inventory has slowed since the ban on robo-signing went into effect in the fall of 2010, the economy is also seeing home prices on the rise and a lowering unemployment rate.

Freddie Mac also attributes its decline to the company’s focus on “early intervention” with distressed borrowers.

Fixed Mortgage rates: New lows, again

It's hard to believe that this is still a topic... Every time I write about "rates hitting new lows," I think it will be the last time, but here we are again. According to numbers released by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 3.62 percent for week ending July 5, 2012. The 15 year fixed rate mortgage dropped to 2.89 percent.

Recent economic data for manufacturing contracted and lower consumer spending were the catalyst for the decline in the long term Treasury Bond that moved rates down.