New vogue in refinancing: cashing in, not out

refinancing home
refinancing home

After years of viewing their homes as piggy banks to be plundered at will, Americans are finally putting some money back in, at least when they're refinancing.

According to new figures compiled by mortgage-funder Freddie Mac, in the fourth quarter of 2009, one-third of borrowers who refinanced their homes actually added cash to the deal to lower their mortgage balances -- a record number since the discount lender started collecting the data in 1985. On the flip side, just 27 percent of people refinancing their homes pulled cash out, which is the lowest number on record.