The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced on July 16th, 2021 that it would allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to drop a 50 basis point fee on mortgage refinances that had been in place since the fall. The 50 basis point fee translates into an increase of roughly 0.10% in rate that was passed onto consumers. The FHFA announced the fee on August 13, 2020, but did not implement it until December after fierce opposition from an industry coalition that included NAR.
The fee was implemented to cover the anticipated cost of forbearance and other pandemic-related costs, but those costs were less than anticipated according to the agency. The elimination of the fee will help distressed owners refinance to more stable positions.