Obama: Congress 'Standing in Way' of Refinancing Aid

President Obama focused his weekly radio and Internet address on blasting Congress, this time for blocking his administration’s plan to provide millions of borrowers with a chance to refinance their mortgages at currently historically-low rates.
Since February, Obama is pushing Congress on a plan that he claims can save $3,000 a year on average per borrower through refinancing — regardless of what type of lender owns the mortgage or whether or not homeowners owe more on their mortgages than their home is worth.
The administration says the cost of this new refinancing program will be fully offset through a fee on the largest financial institutions, based on their size and the riskiness of their activities.
On the White House website, the administration says the plan “won’t add a dime to the deficit.”
“It’s a plan that has the support of independent, nonpartisan economists and leaders across the housing industry,” Obama said in his address.  “But Republicans in Congress worked to keep it from even getting to a vote.  And here we are – seven months later – still waiting on Congress to act.”
Any homeowner with a non-federally guaranteed loan who meets the following criteria would qualify for refinancing under Obama’s program:
» No missed mortgage payments in the last six months, and no more than one missed payment in the six months before that;
» A current FICO score of at least 580 (approximately nine in ten borrowers meet this requirement);
» The loan being refinanced is not worth more than area median home values, as determined by Federal Housing Administration conforming loan limits;
» The loan being refinanced is for a single-family, owner-occupied principal residence (to be sure that the program benefits responsible homeowners trying to stay in their homes)
“The truth is, it’s going to take a while for our housing market to fully recover,” Obama said. “But it’s going to take a lot more time – and cause a lot more hurt – if Congress keeps standing in the way.”
Read more at whitehouse.gov/refi.

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