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According to the FHFA, this new streamlined refinance offering is more targeted than the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), with no eligibility cut-off dates connected and the ability to use the program more than once. Borrowers with existing HARP loans are not eligible for the new offering unless they have refinanced out of HARP using one of the traditional refinance products offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The refinance offering will not be available to borrowers until October 2017. The FHFA stated it is “creating a bridge” to this new offering by extending HARP through Sept. 30, 2017.
"Providing a sustainable refinance opportunity for high LTV borrowers who have demonstrated responsibility by remaining current on their mortgage makes financial sense both for borrowers and for the GSEs," said FHFA Director Mel Watt. "This new offering will give borrowers the opportunity to refinance when rates are low, making their mortgages more affordable and thus reducing credit risk exposure for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac."