U.S. Senators push regulator to spur refinance activity

(Reuters) - Democrats on the U.S. Senate Banking Committee o n M onday released a letter sent last week to the top housing regulator overseeing mortgage-giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in which they pressed for a fresh plan to boost mortgage refinancing.

The group of a dozen Democratic senators wrote to Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Edward DeMarco on Friday, listing ways his agency could help more borrowers win low-interest loans.

In October, a White House effort originally launched in 2009 to help borrowers who owe more than their home is worth was revised to reach more participants. Known as the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, the effort was intended to help millions refinance and lift the housing market out of its prolonged slump. But only about a quarter of those targeted for the HARP program have reduced their monthly mortgage payments.


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