The first quarter of 2017 showed a slow activity for mortgage loan refinance, a decline to 510,000 refinances completed in the said three-month period. This data was from a new release by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
On the last quarter of 2016, the total completed refinances were more than 750,767. That means a 240,767 lesser in the first three months of the year.
While there were 151,019 homeowners eligible for a refinance through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) as of the fourth quarter, only 13,425 of these borrowers 13,425 refinanced their mortgages through the said program. That accounts for only 3 percent of the total refinance activity volume.
The total volume fell in March due to the higher mortgage rates experienced in February.
Underwater borrowers seem to want to improve and build their equity faster. Those who refinanced through HARP with shorter loan terms of 15- and 20-year mortgage account to 24 perfect of the total HARP refinance activity.
Helping Underwater Mortgages Through HARP
The Home Affordable Refinance Program is a federal refinance program of the FHFA. It is designed to help borrowers who are near-underwater and underwater to grow their home equity by refinancing their mortgages. This provides homeowners an opportunity to avoid delinquencies which could possibly lead to the foreclosure of their homes.
The mortgage must be provided or guaranteed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac for it to qualify. If you are unsure if your current mortgage is linked to one of these agencies, ask your lender.
Mortgage payments must also be current for the homeowner to qualify for HARP. This means that there should be no 30-day late payments in the most recent six months, and no more than one 30-day late payment in the recent 12 months.
Learn more about HARP and be able to refinance your home and build your equity. Speak with your lender. You may also want to talk to other lenders to learn about their refinancing terms and rates.