Obama Proposes New Mortgage Refinance Plan
February 8th, 2012
February 8th, 2012
On February 1, President Barack Obama outlined his administration’s latest plan to help millions of homeowners refinance their privately held mortgages at lower interest rates. The plan would enable eligible borrowers to save about $3,000 annually if they refinance their loans through a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) program, which would guarantee the new loan and assume the risk if the borrower defaulted.
The plan, if approved by Congress, would cost between $5 billion and $10 billion, depending upon participation. President Obama wants to pay for the program by imposing a tax on large banks to finance the FHA’s insurance fund; however, proposals similar to this have failed to win support in the past.
To be eligible for this refinancing program, borrowers must:
President Obama also wants the program to require lenders to write down mortgage balances on loans that are deeply underwater – those in which borrowers owe more than 140% of their current home values. This reduction would lower the risk of the borrower defaulting.
Additionally, a program option would let borrowers refinance into 20-year loans. While this option may not reduce the borrowers’ monthly payments, it would enable them to build home equity quickly and pay off their loans sooner. To encourage borrowers to choose this option, the administration wants the FHA to pay for closing costs for an additional savings of about $3,000 to homeowners.
This program targets the 3.5 million homeowners who are not in default on their mortgages currently. However, it does not help the owners of roughly 3 million homes who are at risk of foreclosure.
The administration hopes this program will bolster the housing market and free up cash to encourage consumer spending – thus helping the economy.
What are your thoughts on this new proposal?
If you’re planning to refinance your home, contact a reputable mortgage broker to review your specific situation with you to find the right solution for your needs.
We provide our clients with exceptional service and integrity which has become our hallmark.