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Obama Trumpets Good News on Mortgage Refinancing

Better times ahead for homeowners caught with payments that are unaffordable:

Declaring "good news" in the midst of an economic meltdown, President Barack Obama on Thursday urged families to take advantage of record low mortgage rates by refinancing their homes.

"We are at a time where people can really take advantage of this," Obama said, seated with a handful of homeowners who have already lowered their bills.

Rates on 30-year mortgages have fallen to 4.78 percent, the lowest on record. Rates are down by more than a full percentage point from a year ago.

"The main message we want to send today is there are 7 to 9 million people across the country who right now could be taking advantage of lower mortgage rates," Obama said in a photo opportunity in the Roosevelt Room. "That is money in their pocket."

The president encouraged people to take advantage of a government Web site -- http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov -- to see how they can get help.

In just a handful of minutes of addressing reporters, Obama read the Web site address aloud five different times.

The president credited his own government's efforts, in part, for contributing to a recent surge in refinancing. The collapse of the inflated housing market helped contribute to a meltdown in the financial sector and the broader economy, and millions of people have lost their homes or been at risk for foreclosure.

Obama also warned people to watch out for scam artists.

"If somebody is asking you for money up front before they help you with your refinancing," Obama said, "it's probably a scam."

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Comments (4)


""If somebody is asking you for money up front before they help you with your refinancing," Obama said, "it's probably a scam.""

Hmmm, Obama asked for a bunch of money up front before overhauling healthcare. Dare I ask if IT is a scam?


what, exactly, were the obama administration efforts that contributed to the rise in refinancing?

and while the rates are lower, so are the value of the homes. i bought in 2004 using a 2year ARM, and then refinanced into a 30 year fixed in 2006. all part of my plan.

i have an okay rate, not as good as what i could get today. but i can't refinance today, because I owe more than 90% of the value of my home. the banks that i trust, and would use, have rules around loan to value ratios and how they affect rates. and if your mortgage is more than 80% of the value of your home, you have to pay mortgage insurance as well.

so yeah, rates are down. which is good. but there are still problems out there.


What a farce! MOST of those taking advantage of refinancing are solid homeowners taking advantage of the lower interest rates. Those with sub-prime loans on over-valued property are getting nothing but eviction notices.

Christina Viering:

Happy days are here again!


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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