Refinancing Still Strong

Low interest rates continue to make it attractive to refinance and in January nearly 470,000 home owners took the opportunity to lower their monthly mortgage payments. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) says that about  97,600 troubled homeowners modified mortgages through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).  This is significant because many of those who use the HARP program have mortgages for more their homes are worth and fall into the category of “underwater homeowners.”

Florida and Nevada

High rates of foreclosure continue to plague Florida and Nevada.  So it’s welcome news that many homeowners are able to hang on by modifying their mortgages.  In January, 66 percent of total refinances in Nevada and 56 percent of total refinances in Florida were through HARP.

Also in January, 18 percent of HARP refinances for underwater borrowers were for shorter-term 15- and 20-year mortgages, which build equity faster than traditional 30-year mortgages.

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Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created ConsumerMojo.com to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.