HARP LTV Increase Will Boost Eligible MI Mods, Says Genworth

th Financial Inc. says the Obama administration's recent decision to expand eligibility for the Making Home Affordable program (MHA) will make an estimated 44% additional loans covered by its U.S. mortgage insurance business eligible for modification in connection with the borrower's refinancing. In all, nearly 530,000 loans will be eligible for modification. The new government eligibility guidelines allow borrowers who are current on their payments and with a maximum loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of 125% to refinance their loans under the administration's Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). Previously, the program's LTV limit was 105%. Existing mortgage insurance coverage on these loans would be concurrently modified. ‘Increasing the LTV ceiling for the Home Affordable program will allow us, and others in the industry, to help many more borrowers refinance into a loan they can afford," says Mark Goldhaber, senior vice president of affordable housing and government business development for Genworth's mortgage insurance business. "That's especially important in states that have been hardest hit by home price declines." According to Genworth, the new guidelines will make an additional 65% of its insured loans in the hard-hit ‘Sand States’ – Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada – eligible for modification. Genworth, which implemented the MHA programs soon after they were announced, says early data show mortgages it insures that were refinanced under HARP had an average 1.5 point interest rate decrease and an average 13.5 % monthly mortgage payment decrease. SOURCE: Genworth Fi


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