Tags: Obama | Homeowner | Refinancing | Plan

Experts: Obama Homeowner Refinancing Plan Will Fail

Tuesday, 25 Oct 2011 07:43 AM

President Barack Obama's plan to allow struggling homeowners to refinance and ease their mortgage burdens won't seriously help the embattled sector in that it can't stop declining home values and ignores those behind on their payments, experts say.

The program, dubbed the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, seeks to prevent foreclosures by allowing homeowners still current on their federally guaranteed mortgages to refinance even if their home values have dropped below what they still owe.

That's all well and good, experts say, but it won't address the underlying problems within the housing sector and the economy.
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The plan applies to current borrowers who want to get a lower monthly payment through a lower mortgage rate, but won't help those behind on their payments.

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President Barack Obama
(Getty Images photo)
Those caught in the foreclosure process won't see any help as well from the initiative, which also can't do anything to halt the decline in overall home prices.

"Unless we fix the negative equity problem, we're going to refinance all folks into lower rate mortgage, but fast forward a year or so from now and they're going to sit back at their dining room table and say, look I'm still underwater, and we may see defaults again," says Florida attorney and mortgage expert Shari Olefson, according to CNBC.

Some Republicans are supporting the initiative, saying those struggling who have kept up with their payments deserve a break.

"This is a positive step in the right direction for the preservation of homeownership for those Americans who have been making their payments and met their obligations. They deserve the benefit of today’s lower interest rates," say Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, according to Fox News.

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President Barack Obama's plan to allow struggling homeowners to refinance and ease their mortgage burdens won't seriously help the embattled sector in that it can't stop declining home values and ignores those behind on their payments, experts say. The program, dubbed the...
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