Well, from reading the news article, it looks like the govt is simply thinking about doing a reboot/relaunch on the 2 year old (Making) Homes Affordable Refinance Program, which as the article points out, has not been utilized to the extent the government had hoped. That refi program is still available - your home loan has to be owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, and you can typically currently go up to 105% of your home's appraised value. (In other words, if you owe slightly more than the house is worth, you'd be able to do the refinance.) The loan doesn't work however for people with large seconds or Helocs, or people who no longer qualify based on income and/or debt. Perhaps the new plan will allow everyone to qualify, regardless of income, debt or second liens, and perhaps the 105% loan to value plateau will be raised. The program has worked for those people who were able to refinance (saving a few hundred on your monthly mortgage is definitely a good thing!) It shouldn't cost more - the banks made money on fees they charged for doing the refis (and didn't lose money by having their homes get foreclosed), the loan agents made money by having loans to do, and no government money was spent. (Well, not counting the billions spent to bail out the banks, but that's a whole other issue...) Obama may give some details tomorrow night in his speech, and hopefully this plan will turn out to be an improvement on the existing program.