Fannie Mae Announces New Refinance Options

March 5, 2009

Fannie Mae has issued Announcement 09-04: Home Affordable Refinance – New Refinance Options for Existing Fannie Mae Loans to describe new refinance options for existing Fannie Mae loans only. This Announcement follows the Treasury Department’s announcement today of the creation of the Making Home Affordable program, a key component of the federal government’s Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan (HASP).

The new Refi Plus™ options for Fannie Mae to Fannie Mae refinances provide significantly relaxed mortgage insurance (MI) coverage requirements to assist borrowers who have experienced home price declines, offer LTVs up to 105 percent, and provide other underwriting flexibilities. The goal is to provide refinance opportunities to borrowers who have demonstrated an acceptable payment history on their mortgage, but due to a decline in home prices, have been unable to refinance to obtain a lower payment or move to a more stable product.

Refi Plus will be available for loans underwritten through Desktop Underwriter® (DU®) or manually, and Refi Plus loans may be delivered on or after April 1, 2009.

For additional information on DU Refi Plus, we will also publish the Desktop Underwriter (DU) Version 7.1 May Update Release Notes and related FAQs. We will implement this release the weekend of May 2, 2009. We will also update the DU Version 7.1 April Update Release Notes (published February 4, 2009 and supplemented on February 6, 2009).

In addition, effective with this Announcement, we will retire the Streamlined Refinance Mortgage product. Much of the eligibility criteria for Streamlined Refinance Mortgages Options A and A Select (Fannie Mae to Fannie Mae refinances) are now available under Home Affordable Refinance through Refi Plus, with LTVs up to 105 percent and flexibility on MI coverage.

DU Refi Plus
DU Refi Plus will provide increased efficiencies for the origination and underwriting of Fannie Mae to Fannie Mae limited cash-out refinance transactions in DU. This option was originally described in the DU Version 7.1 April Update Release Notes issued on February 4, 2009 and will initially be available for loan casefiles submitted to DU on or after the weekend of April 4, 2009.

Announcement 09-04 and the DU Version 7.1 May Update Release Notes describe a number of new enhancements and flexibilities to DU Refi Plus. These new flexibilities will be available in DU on or after the weekend of May 2, 2009, but lenders can begin manually applying certain flexibilities to eligible DU Refi Plus loan casefiles submitted to DU beginning on April 4, 2009.

Refi Plus (Manual Underwriting)
Refi Plus provides an efficient manual underwriting process for the refinance of an existing Fannie Mae mortgage loan by the current servicer of the loan, and is available to all Fannie Mae approved lenders. This option supports the new 105 percent maximum LTV and MI flexibilities for LTVs over 80 percent.

Tools and Resources
Fannie Mae is providing a number of tools and resources to help lenders implement Home Affordable Refinance.

For details on Refi Plus and the retirement of Streamlined Refinance Mortgages, see Announcement 09-04: Home Affordable Refinance - New Refinance Options for Existing Fannie Mae Loans. Specific details on DU Refi Plus will be provided in the updated DU Version 7.1 April Update Release Notes and the DU Version 7.1 May Update Release Notes.

The new Home Affordable Refinance page on provides more information and links to a number of resources including a Frequently Asked Questions document. Making Home Affordable program information for consumers is available on

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