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Fannie Mae to offer webinars on HARP changes
WASHINGTON (11/17/11)--Fannie Mae today will hold the first of four webinars to update mortgage servicers on recent changes that aim to help more underwater borrowers who could benefit from refinancing their home mortgages to participate in the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).

The hourlong webinars are entitled "Updates to DU Refi Plus and Refi Plus" and will give attendees a chance to discuss the changes with Fannie Mae experts. Additional webinars are scheduled for November 22, 28 and 30. The Nov. 17 and Nov. 22 webinars were full at press time, but registration for the Nov. 28 and Nov. 30 webinars remained open.

The webinars will address HARP changes that were unveiled late last month by President Barack Obama. Those changes include:
  • Eliminating certain risk-based fees for borrowers who refinance into shorter-term mortgages and lowering fees for other borrowers;
  • Removing the 125% loan-to-value ceiling for fixed-rate mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac;
  • Waiving certain representations and warranties made by lenders on loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac;
  • Eliminating the need for a new property appraisal where there is a reliable automated valuation model estimate provided; and
  • Extending the end date for HARP until Dec. 31, 2013 for loans originally sold to Fannie and Freddie on or before May 31, 2009.
HARP was launched in 2009 to let troubled homeowners bypass a requirement that they have at least 20% equity in their home to be able to refinance their mortgages at lower rates.

To register for the webinars and see Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac guidance on the changes, use the resource links.
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