The Federal Housing Finance Agency, regulator and effective owner of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has directed Fannie Mae to continue the Home Affordable Refinance Program by two years.
It had been scheduled to end at the end of 2013 and is now scheduled to end at the end of 2015.
“More than 2 million homeowners have refinanced through HARP, proving it a useful tool for reducing risk,” said FHFA Acting Director Edward DeMarco. “We are extending the program so more underwater borrowers can benefit from lower interest rates.”
This effectively keeps at least a little of the fire under the ongoing wave of refinancing housing finance loans that many credit unions have found very popular.
And the agency said it will soon launch a nationwide campaign to inform homeowners about HARP, perhaps adding to the consumer demand still further.
The regulator said the upcoming campaign will educate consumers about HARP and its eligibility requirements and “motivate them to explore their options and utilize HARP before the program ends.”
“It’s a great offer for people who are still in trouble from the housing crisis. There are still a lot of people who want to stay in their home. It also postpones the D-Day for credit unions when we will have to see how we compete on purchase money loans,” said Robert Dorsa, president of the American Credit Union Mortgage Association.
“Now we have more time to keep growing our brand before we have to compete on the street with builders and others,” Dorsa said.