Sunday, July 1, 2012

President Obama Proposes New Home Refinancing Program

Recently, I had the opportunity to listen in on this month's White House conference call that addressed home mortgage refinancing. The purpose of this call was to spread the word about President Obama's new proposal to enact three streamline home refinancing programs: Responsible Owner Refinancing Act, Expanding Refinancing Opportunities Act, and Rebuilding Equity Act. Americans who bought houses before the financial crisis and are locked in at high interest rates will benefit from these streamline refinancing programs because it cuts through the red tape that is attached to modifying mortgages and help home owners make affordable payments. Individuals who are not behind on their mortgage payments but have been unable to get traditional refinancing because the value of their home has declined, individuals may be eligible to refinance their own loan through MHA's Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). Click here for a more detailed eligibility criteria.

Why streamline refinancing?
Individuals may be eligible to refinance through the
Home Affordable Refinance Program
Increased competition amongst lending services will give borrowers better deals and lower fees on their loans. In addition, the programs allow automatic appraisal that will remove the additional cost of manual appraisal. The Rebuilding Equity Act will also offer aid to families whose loans are underwater-- the mortgage is higher than the value of the house. Short term loans allow people to recover from their loans quicker. Lower monthly payments mean lower foreclosure rates, helping property values in your community. 

The conference ended with a question and answer segment where several realtors from South Florida called in to make their enquiries. Overall, my first experience with a White House conference call was a positive one-- however, I left the conversation still feeling confused about the specificities each program would provide within President Obama's proposal. Let's hope that the U.S. Senate will quickly add this to their calender and considers this proposal with the attention it deserves. I believe there should be a greater effort to keep an open dialogue between the administration and the American public and explain the proposal in easy to understand terms. On the same token, Americans who think they might be eligible for home refinancing should proactively educate themselves on the various programs to see which one suits their financial situation the closest. Home loan refinancing is a tedious and complex process that effects many Americans and I think it's a matter of public concern that should be addressed sooner rather than later. 

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