Ed. note: This blog is cross-posted from the USDA Blog.
Today, rural homeowners in 19 states across the nation are getting some much-needed and long-awaited help to cope with declining home values and a sluggish housing market.
Secretary Vilsack announced today a pilot program to help rural borrowers with loans made or guaranteed by USDA refinance their mortgages to reduce their monthly payments. This initiative is part of the president’s on- going efforts to help middle class families, create jobs, and strengthen the economy. Since the Obama Administration took office three years ago, Secretary Vilsack has worked closely with the White House to ensure that rural Americans continue to enjoy the many benefits of homeownership.
This is part of President Obama’s plan to help responsible homeowners. In his recent State of the Union address, the President laid out a Blueprint for an America Built to Last, calling for action to help responsible borrowers and support a housing market recovery. While the government cannot fix the housing market on its own, the President believes that responsible homeowners should not have to sit and wait for the market to hit bottom to get relief when there are measures at hand that can make a meaningful difference, including allowing these homeowners to save thousands of dollars by refinancing at today’s low interest rates.
Streamlined Refinancing for Rural America: USDA, which supports mortgage financing for thousands of rural families a year, is taking steps to further streamline its USDA-to-USDA refinancing program. This program is designed to provide those who currently have loans insured by the Department of Agriculture with a low-cost, streamlined process for refinancing into today’s low rates.
USDA will further streamline this program by eliminating the requirement for a new appraisal, a new credit report and other documentation normally required in a refinancing. To be eligible, a borrower need only demonstrate that he or she has been current on their loan. The streamlined pilot program is being offered in 19 states and has the potential to help an estimated 230,000 rural homeowners refinance their loans and reduce their monthly mortgage costs.
The two-year pilot program is open to homeowners in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Tennessee. For more information contact any USDA Rural Development State or Area office.
Tammye Trevino is the USDA Rural Housing Administrator