Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20) commended the President's announcement this week to help struggling homeowners across the country. Through changes in the government's Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), it will be easier for millions of homeowners to take advantage of the opportunity to refinance their mortgages at the current low-interest rates.
"This will save South Florida families thousands of dollars a year," said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. "President Obama knows struggling homeowners can't wait for Congress to act, so he has made it easier for them to get the refinancing help they need in order to make ends meet and prevent them from going further into debt."
The series of enhancements to the program allow for homeowners who owe more than 125 percent of the market value of their homes to get new loans. It has been nearly impossible for homeowners to refinance their mortgage if they owe more on their mortgage than the current appraised value of their home, even if they are current on all payments and have excellent credit. With interest rates at historic lows, many of these homeowners would save thousands of dollars each year simply by refinancing their existing mortgage.
And for those who wish to refinance but have been deterred by the fees associated with it, the President's plan eliminates red tape via the Federal Housing Finance Agency, making it easier and less expensive than ever to refinance and lower monthly mortgage payments.
Eligible homeowners must have a mortgage owned or managed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and it must have been sold to those agencies on or before May 31, 2009. The FHFA announced that it expects the changes to the HARP program to be implemented by November 15.