Population of refinance-eligible borrowers declines sharply.

Position:NEWS ROOM - Report

* Jacksonville, Florida-based Lender Processing Services Inc. (LPS) announced in its August Mortgage Monitor report that the population of potentially refinance-eligible borrowers declined from roughly 10 million in December to just 5.7 million as of August.

LPS Senior Vice President Herb Blecher said, "We have seen prepayments decline by more than 30 percent since May, when mortgage interest rates began climbing approximately 100 basis points to where we are today." Blecher added, "As a result, the percentage of borrowers currently in loans with interest rates high enough for refinancing to make fiscal sense has decreased significantly. Over half of borrowers are now 'out of the money' with respect to refinancing."

A press release on the report noted that home equity has been on the rise as home prices head upward, which could translate into a pickup in home-equity lending.

Blecher noted, "After bottoming out at the beginning of 2012, home prices are now at their highest levels since 2009, and borrowers who bought or refinanced within the last few years are quite likely to have accumulated additional equity in their homes."

As for foreclosures, LPS reported that as of its August report the national foreclosure pipeline had been steadily declining due to an increase in...

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