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FHFA Announces Extension of HARP and HAMP Until the End of 2016

FHFA Director Melvin Watt at a Greenlining Institute conference in Los Angeles said that Fannie and Freddie would participate in both the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) through December 2016. Fannie and Freddie had been set to stop allowing modifications under the programs at the end of this year.

Mr. Watt also said that the FHFA wouldn’t extend Fannie’s and Freddie’s participation in HAMP again, and that he didn’t expect for there to be another extension of HARP after 2016.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew last summer announced the federal government would extend lenders’ eligibility to use HAMP through at least 2016, leading to the wide expectation that the FHFA would follow suit.

In February, Fannie and Freddie refinanced 10,673 loans through HARP, bringing the total since the program’s start to nearly 3.3 million. In February 2014, Fannie and Freddie refinanced 26,964 mortgages through the program.

In prepared remarks, Mr. Watt said HAMP and HARP, “have provided critically important relief for many borrowers by allowing them to lower their monthly payments and, as a result, have prevented many foreclosures.”

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