Fifth Third Refinances $4bn of Mortgages Since April 2009
Fifth Third Mortgage Company, a subsidiary of Fifth Third Bank, announced today it refinanced more than 23,500 mortgages totaling almost $4bn since the launch of the Freddie Mac Relief Refinance Program in April 2009. The Cincinnati-based company has been helping homeowners take advantage of the low mortgage rates, which remain between 4 and 5%, that are due in part to the federal Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). Since January 2007, Fifth Third Bank has reached out to its mortgage borrowers to discuss workout options. The bank has several outreach initiatives including "You Have Options," and an early intervention program designed to educate borrowers who could have difficulty making mortgage payments. "We applaud Fifth Third Mortgage Company for its success at helping borrowers save money by taking advantage of our Relief Refinance Mortgage and today's extraordinarily low mortgage rates," said Paul Mullings, senior vice president of single family sourcing at Freddie Mac. Fifth Third Bank continues to extend lending, mortgage and other financial services with early 2010 plans to expand in Tennesse. Across the broader market, HARP seems to be falling short of its goals. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency's February/March foreclosure prevention and refinance report, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinanced nearly 291,600 loans through HARP as of March 2010 — out of a target of 4m. Write to Christine Ricciardi.