Evaluating the Benefits of a Streamlined Refinance Program Evaluating the Benefits of a Streamlined Refinance Program

By Kristopher Gerardi, Lara Loewenstein, and Paul Willen

Mortgage borrowers who have experienced employment disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic are unable to refinance their loans to take advantage of historically low market rates. In this article, the authors analyze the effects of a streamlined refinance (“refi”) program for government-insured loans that would allow borrowers to refinance without needing to document employment or income. In addition, the authors consider a cash-out component that would allow borrowers to extract some of the substantial housing equity that many have accumulated in recent years.