Tags: Barack Obama | Joe Biden | lower | mortgage | interest rate

Obama Fails to Take Own Advice on Refinancing

Thursday, 15 May 2014 08:14 PM

By Jason Devaney

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill refinanced their mortgage last year at an interest rate more than 2 points lower than what the president and first lady pay on their Chicago home, according to figures released Thursday.

The financial disclosure forms show that the Bidens have a 30-year mortgage on their residence in Wilmington, Del., for between $500,000 and $1 million, with an interest rate of 3.375 percent. The home, according to real estate website Zillow.com, is worth $1.4 million.

The Obamas, meanwhile, pay a rate of 5.625 percent for their Chicago home on a 30-year mortgage with the same range of remaining balance. That's the same rate they've been paying since they purchased the home in 2005, according to Bloomberg. Zillow.com claims the Chicago residence is worth $2.1 million.

The forms, which are required by law, allow public officials to list their assets in ranges.

Obama has encouraged Americans to take advantage of lower interest rates by refinancing but has yet to do so himself.

The average rate offered on typical 30-year mortgages fell to a six-month low of 4.2 percent this week from a 2013 high of 4.58 percent in August, according to Freddie Mac surveys. Borrowing costs are up from a record low 3.31 percent in November 2012.

The Obamas reported assets worth between $1.8 million and $7 million last year. They paid $98,169 in federal taxes on an adjusted gross income of $481,098. The couple has treasury notes worth between $1 million and $5 million, and their assets include retirement funds (between $300,000 and $750,000) and college savings plans (between $200,000 and $400,000) for their two daughters. Obama also has a pension from the Illinois state legislature.

Obama reported earning between $70,000 and $165,000 in royalties from his three books last year on top of his annual salary of $400,000. He and his wife reported a combined balance of between $151,000 and $365,000 in three checking accounts.

The Bidens paid $96,378 in federal taxes on $407,009 of adjusted gross income last year, and are worth between $276,000 and $940,000. Biden also donated $25,000 each to a pair of Pennsylvania anti-domestic violence groups. His wife received $50,000 from the Pennsylvania Society, which awarded her the gold medal in 2013 for distinguished achievement.

The Associated Press and Bloomberg contributed to this report.

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