As expected, U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today reintroduced legislation to allow more homeowners refinance their mortgages, under certain caveats.
The Senators originally introduced this legislation in the 112th Congress and it recieved broad mortgage industry support. This time the legislation also gained that backing.
"We need to do this before interest rates go up again," said Senator Menendez. "Not only will this bill help put thousands of dollars back into the pockets of New Jersey families who are trying to pay their bills and keep their homes, but it does so at no cost to taxpayers and will stimulate our economy."
In a release from Menendez staff, an estimated 12 million Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac homeowners would be able to refinance to lower rates.
Under the S. 249 bill, borrowers would see reduced refi fees, and no cost for appraisals. HARP would be extended by one year past its current expiration on December 31, 2013.
The establishment of a streamline refi program aims to increase the number of servicers who can perform these modifications. Boxer and Menendez said that refi costs are too high, interest-rate wise, due to a lack of competition.
“This bill is a win-win-win,” Senator Boxer said. “Homeowners will have more money in their pockets, Fannie and Freddie will see fewer foreclosures, and the housing market and economy will continue building momentum."