“Underwater” Added to Dictionary & HARP Stat Update

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In August, Merriam-Webster released its list of new words being added to the 2012 update of Merriam Webster’s Collegiate® Dictionary. Among the newly adopted words is a term that reveals quite a lot about the U.S. housing culture – “underwater.”

Of course, the term underwater is being used figuratively in this sense, meaning a state of owing more on a loan than the property is worth. In May 2012, it was estimated that 31.4 percent of American homeowners (nearly 16 million) were underwater in their mortgages.

Even with record low interest rates, homeowners with little to no equity in their homes are having a hard time securing affordable refinancing. However, with help from the Home Affordable Refinancing Program and the Home Affordable Modification Program (or HARP and HAMP, respectively), many U.S. homeowners have found financial relief.

Wondering how many homes have been refinanced through the Home Affordable Refinance Program?

Check out the latest stats:

  • One in three refinances were through HARP in June 2012.
  • Through June 2012, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinanced 422,969 loans through HARP.
  • In 2011, there were 400,024 HARP refinances.
  • Since 2009, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinanced more than 2.2 million loans through their existing programs and more than 1.4 million loans through HARP.

Source: http://www.fhfa.gov/webfiles/24141/JuneRefinanceReport8712Final.pdf

Steph Meyer is a contributor to the ForTheBestRate.com Blog and keeps us up to date on interesting happenings within the world of home financing and real estate. She’s got a quick wit and keen eye on making smart financial decisions. My Google Profile+

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