Pending Freddie Mac Relief Refinance Changes to Help Lenders Refinance More Borrowers

Freddie Mac announced plans to build on the success of its Relief Refinance Mortgage Program, which includes the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0), by aligning requirements for mortgages with loan-to-value ratios that are equal to or less than 80 percent with those for mortgages with LTV ratios greater than 80 percent.

McLean, Va.—Freddie Mac announced plans to build on the success of its Relief Refinance Mortgage Program, which includes the  Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0), by aligning requirements for mortgages with loan-to-value ratios that are equal to or less than 80 percent with those for mortgages with LTV ratios greater than 80 percent.

The alignment will eliminate many of the lender’s selling representation and warranty responsibilities on the original loans being refinanced, regardless of the borrower’s loan-to- value ratio.  Details are scheduled to be announced to lenders by mid-September so lenders can start taking applications as soon as possible thereafter for loans to be delivered as early as January 1, 2013.

Freddie Mac also said it is further evaluating the Relief Refinance program by specifically focusing on their Open Access offering and determining the best approach to maximize the program’s reach to eligible borrowers and assist lenders in managing capacity.  Freddie Mac’s Relief Refinance – Open Access option enables eligible borrowers with Freddie Mac mortgages to apply for Relief Refinance mortgages, including HARP 2.0, through lenders other than their current servicer.