Blogatative Easing: Ben Bernanke, Brookings blogger

Blogatative Easing: Ben Bernanke, Brookings blogger

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Fannie, Freddie HARP refinancings drop for second-straight month

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac moved fewer borrowers through the Home Affordable Refinancing Program for the second-straight month, according to their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency. HARP launched in March 2009, allowing borrowers to refinance their Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage out of negative equity and into a lower rate. The FHFA extended the program in March and set it to expire June 30, 2012. Fannie and Freddie refinanced more than 784,000 loans through HARP since it began. In April, roughly 32,000 loans made it through HARP, down from 42,000 the month before, according to the FHFA report. It's the second straight month of decreases and the lowest level since August 2010 when Fannie and Freddie refinanced 29,000 borrowers through HARP. Approximately 84% of them held loan-to-value ratios of less than 105%. About 5,400 HARP refinances in April had LTVs between 105% and 125%, meaning these borrowers owed more on their loan than the home was worth. At the end of April, the government-sponsored enterprises held 1.3 million mortgages in 60-day delinquency or worse, down from nearly 1.7 million one year ago. Both GSEs completed 28,000 modifications, roughly flat from the previous month, and they completed 9,700 short sales, down slightly from March but the highest total since December. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.

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