Freddie Alters Relief Refinance Terms

In attempt to further the success of President Obama’s Making Home Affordable Program, Freddie Mac (FRE) today announced a number of changes to its refinance offering under the program. Obama’s program aims to provide broader access to affordable and sustainable mortgages through expanded refinancing opportunities. Freddie Mac’s Relief Refinance Mortgage is designed particularly to assist borrowers who are current on their mortgage payments but who would benefit from refinancing into mortgages with terms that better position them for long-term homeownership. Under previous regulations, borrowers had to work out a refinance with the lender who currently services their mortgage.The changes revealed today will allow borrowers to refinance a Freddie-Mac-owned or guaranteed mortgage with any lender affiliated with the GSE. “We are responding to consumers’ desires to have more refinancing options,” said Freddie Mac executive vice president Don Bisenius. “As an added benefit, we are expanding the program and providing greater flexibility in financing closing costs.” Freddie Mac also said it’s increasing the amount of closing costs that can be rolled into the new refinance mortgage, allowing the lesser of 4% of the new refinance mortgage amount or $5,000 of closing costs, financing costs and escrows to be included. Write to Kelly Curran.

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