Today, U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) called on Congress to move quickly to pass their legislation that could help millions of American families refinance following the announcement that the Federal Reserve will take steps to keep interest rates low for homeowners and other borrowers.
Senator Boxer said, "The Fed's action is expected to send mortgage rates to historic lows so we must act now to ensure that millions of homeowners can take advantage of these rates when they refinance. That's why a broad coalition of industry and consumer groups are calling on Congress to pass the Menendez-Boxer bill, which will help struggling families save thousands of dollars while strengthening the housing market and the economy. We urge colleagues on both sides of the aisle to help us pass this bill as soon as possible."
Senator Menendez said, "Lower interest rates are great news for homeowners and our economy -- but only if families can take advantage of them. Homeowners must be allowed to refinance and save money from the historically low interest rates that the Federal Reserve is helping to create. That's why Congress urgently needs to pass the Menendez-Boxer refinancing bill before rates go up again."
There are nearly 13.5 million responsible borrowers in loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who could benefit from refinancing at today's record low rates. Although recent changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) were a step in the right direction, they left in place barriers that will keep millions of borrowers trapped in higher interest loans. The Menendez-Boxer bill will build on these changes and further expand opportunities to access historically low interest rates for borrowers who make their mortgage payments on time. The bill will not cost taxpayers anything according to preliminary estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.
Earlier this week, Senators Menendez and Boxer introduced an updated version of The Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act, which will remove the barriers preventing borrowers who are making their payments on time from refinancing their loans at the lowest rates possible.
The legislation is supported by a broad array of stakeholders representing borrowers, lenders, sellers, finance and industry, and other experts including the Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of Realtors, National Association of Home Builders and the Center for Responsible Lending.