Homeowners who survived the Great Recession with highdebt-to-loan ratios completed 6,091 more refinances in May underthe Home Affordable Refinance Program.

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The Federal Housing Finance Agency has now helped 3.4 millionfamilies refinance their mortgages since the current program beganApril 1, 2009, some owing more on their houses than they wereworth. About 6% of HARP loans had a loan-tovalue ratio greater than125%, and HARP refinances accounted for 4% of all U.S. refinancesin May.

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Just a little more than half of May's HARP refinances came fromthe 12 states with the highest rates of HARP participation: Florida(8.6%), Georgia (7.9%), Connecticut (7.5%), New Mexico (7.5%),Rhode Island (7.1%), Maryland (7.1%), Ohio (7%), Nevada (6.9%),Michigan (6.8%), Delaware (6.8%), Illinois (6.1%) and Arizona(5.9%).

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From January through May, HARP refinances represented 9% or moreof total refinances in Florida and Georgia, more than double the 4%of total refinances nationwide over the same period.

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Total refinance volume increased in May as rates remained belowthe levels observed at the end of 2015. The average interest rateon a 30year fixed rate mortgage fell to 3.60% from 3.61% inApril.

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Jim DuPlessis

A journalist for decades.