Refinancing changes?

Posted at: 02/18/2013 4:50 PM
Updated at: 02/18/2013 5:10 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri

If you own a home, did you know there is a bill that is sitting in Congress that could save you thousands of dollars each year. News10NBC wanted to know what's holding up the mortgage refinancing bill?

If you haven't heard, the bill would reduce up-front fees homeowners have to pay when they refinance and eliminate appraisal costs. It's for homeowners with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans. The bill has a lot of support by democrats, but republicans in the house are not all for it.
Republicans say they want to help the economy by scaling back on the government's role in the housing market.

Right now,  nearly $12 million homeowners have Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans that could be refinanced, but because of the cost, it's something they just can't afford to do. The president says the way the system is now, it works against them.

President Obama said, “Too many families who never missed a payment and want to refinance are being told no. That's holding our entire economy back. We need to fix it.”

The president says the mortgage bill could save the average homeowner $3,000 by reducing those up front fees and getting rid of appraisal costs for people with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer is for the bill.
Senator Chuck Schumer said, “I think its a very good idea to allow people to refinance their Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loans if the interests are now low, but they signed their mortgage rates when they were high.”

Twenty seven Senate democrats are co-sponsors of the bill, but no republicans have back it. One republican member of the House Financial Services Committee says: "The American taxpayers have already sunk $190 billion into the operations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It's time that we wind their operations down instead of using them as a piggy bank for failed programs that further delay the housing recovery," said Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, a member of the House Financial Services Committee.

Schumer said, “There is some resistance, but I don't see how private folks are allowed to refinance when you don't have Fannie and Freddie loans, why shouldn't people who have them be allowed to refinance. After all interest rates are at record lows, it's unfair to make people pay 9, 10 percent when they could go to a  bank and start from scratch and pay 4 or 5.”

News10NBC is reaching out to see where our local republican representatives in Congress stand on the bill. You can call your representative and let them know how you think they should be voting for the bill.

Beside democrats, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Buyers all back this bill.