April 23, 2018

Obama Renews Support for Housing

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Obama Renews Support for Housing

In a speech last week, President Obama vowed to continue to support several policies that he says will aid in the economic and housing recovery. 

“The key now is to encourage home ownership that isn’t based on bubbles, but is instead based on a solid foundation, where buyers and lenders play by the same set of rules. Rules that are clear, transparent, and fair,” Obama said. 

Obama renewed his support for congressional legislation that will give every home owner the opportunity to refinance their mortgage and save on their monthly mortgage payments. Obama has said he has tried to remove restrictions on the existing Home Affordable Refinance Program (or HARP) to allow more home owners to participate. For example, one proposal in Congress would allow home owners who had taken out loans after June 2010 to participate (currently rules set the cut-off at June 2009). However, the proposal has stalled in the Senate. 

“I’m also acting on my own to cut red tape for responsible families who want to get a mortgage, but the bank says no,” Obama said in his speech last week.

Obama also says that he’s pushing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration to define clearer rules for so-called put backs—“where lenders have to take back loans that run afoul of certain underwriting and documentation standards,” The Wall Street Journal reports. 

Source: “Between the Lines: Obama’s Latest Housing Pitches,” The Wall Street Journal (July 26, 2013)

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