Fannie/Freddie Regulator: 2012 HARP Refis Beat Estimates

MAR 13, 2013 12:34pm ET

GSE seller/servicers completed nearly 1.1 million HARP refinancings in 2012, compared to 438,200 in the year prior.

“The 2012 HARP performance surpassed previous estimates for the program,” the Federal Housing Finance Agency said in releasing the HARP report Wednesday morning.

The doubling in HARP production came after the FHFA agreed to streamline the program in the fall of 2011. The changes went into effect in early 2012 and HARP refis shot up from 60,000 in January to 137,000 by June.

In December, HARP refinancings slowed to 76,460, down 41% from November, probably due to seasonal factors.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts estimate there are 1.7 billion Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers that could still benefit from a HARP refinance.

However, only a portion of those borrowers will take advantage of the Home Affordable Refinance Program, which is slated to expire at the end of 2013.

“Servicer incentives remain in place to refinance as many as possible,” the Bank of America Merrill Lynch report says.

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