Late last week, President Obama said more home owners are taking advantage of government programs to refinance into ultra-low mortgage rates, but there's still more Congress can do to make refinancing easier for home owners.
Refinancing applications have soared 50 percent since October as more home owners seek to take advantage of refinancing programs.Â
President Obama, speaking in Las Vegas on Friday, said that legislation introduced by Democrats in the Senate seeks to remove additional barriers that would allow even more underwater home owners to refinance into new mortgages. The legislation includes waiving a requirement for home appraisals when refinancing, which can add to the costs of refinancing. Additionally, the proposals include expanding the refinancing program for home owners current on their mortgages who donâ€™t have government-backed mortgages by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Obama also has called on a proposal that would waive closing costs for refinancing home owners who apply their mortgage savings to their principal.
â€œIâ€™m calling on Congress to give every responsible home owner a chance to save an average of $3,000 a year by refinancing their mortgage,â€ President Obama said. Obama made his comments on Friday in Nevada, an election battleground state where six out of 10 home owners are underwater on their mortgages.
Source: â€œObama Returns to Topic of Economic Recovery,â€ The New York Times (May 11, 2012); â€œHUD: 3 Bills Will Complete Obama Refinancing Initiative,â€ HousingWire (May 11, 2012); and â€œObama Touts Mortgage Relief in Swing State Nevada,â€ Reuters News (May 11, 2012)