More borrowers with underwater loans may get a chance to refinance their loans as the Obama administration announced on Monday that it will relax rules on a program which has already helped about 9 million people.

Federal housing officials on Monday said they would seek to attract more eligible borrowers who can benefit from refinancing their home mortgage, by revamping the rules under the Home Affordable Refinance Program.

“By the end of 2013 HARP refinances may roughly double or more from their current amount but such forward-looking projections are inherently uncertain,” the Federal Housing Finance Agency said in a fact sheet released together with the announcement.

The Home Affordable Refinance Program, more accessible to more borrowers with mortgages owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

[See below for how to find out if your loan is guaranteed by Fannie or Freddie]

Some lenders may be able to accomodate changes by the beginning of December, according to the FHFA. Industry participation is not mandatory.

The “unique” program is the only refinance program that enables borrowers who owe more than their home is worth to take advantage of low interest rates and other refinancing benefits.

The program will be available to borrowers with loans sold to Fannie and Freddie on or before May 31, 2009 with current loan-to-value ratios above 80 percent.

- Eliminating certain risk-based fees

- Removing the loan-to-value ceiling for fixed-rate mortgages backed by Fannie and Freddie

- Waive some representations and that lenders commit to in making loans owed or guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie

- Eliminate certain new property appraisal

- The HARP program will be extended until December 31, 2013 for loans originally sold to Fannie and Freddie on or before May 31, 2009.

Homeowner Eligibility

The FHFA said homeowners could determine eligibility by going to the following links.

http://www.FannieMae.com/loanlookup/

https://ww3.FreddieMac.com/corporate/

Published by Medicaldaily.com