February 11, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — On Thursday, February 10, 2011, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) submitted the attached comment letter to Edward DeMarco, Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) calling for an extension of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) that allows underwater borrowers who loans are owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who are current on their mortgages, to take advantage of the current low interest rates to refinance their loans. MBA recommends that the program, currently slated to expire at the end of June, be extended to the end of December, 2012 to coincide with the expiration of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
In the letter, MBA President and CEO John Courson also calls for changes to improve the effectiveness of the program. According to Courson, the three changes that would have the most dramatic impact on the program are an increase in the loan-to-value (LTV) limit, a re-evaluation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s Loan Level Price Adjustment (LLPAs), and closer alignment between Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s separate HARP programs.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is the national association representing the real estate finance industry, an industry that employs more than 280,000 people in virtually every community in the country. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the association works to ensure the continued strength of the nation’s residential and commercial real estate markets; to expand homeownership and extend access to affordable housing to all Americans. MBA promotes fair and ethical lending practices and fosters professional excellence among real estate finance employees through a wide range of educational programs and a variety of publications. Its membership of over 2,200 companies includes all elements of real estate finance: mortgage companies, mortgage brokers, commercial banks, thrifts, Wall Street conduits, life insurance companies and others in the mortgage lending field. For additional information, visit MBA’s Web site: www.mortgagebankers.org.