The recent extension of the Making Home Affordable initiative does not necessarily mean that the Home Affordable Refinance Program will also be extended.
A joint announcement last month from the Treasury Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development indicated that the Making Home Affordable program will be extended until at least Dec. 31, 2016.
The initiative was extended “to allow the administration to continue assisting homeowners facing foreclosure and those whose homes are underwater,” according to the announcement.
Although HARP was created to enable underwater borrowers to refinance loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the extension of Making Home Affordable does not mean that HARP will be extended.
A spokesperson for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which is the conservator and regulator of Fannie and Freddie, confirmed that any extension of HARP would require the FHFA director’s approval.
HARP — which has been utilized on 3,154,578 refinances through the end of April — is currently set to expire at the end of next year.
At this point, FHFA is not considering extending the program.
Instead, the regulator is currently focused on reaching out to qualified borrowers who have not yet taken advantage of the program.