Yesterday, we told you about President Obama’s proposal to cut through the red tape that is preventing many homeowners from refinancing their mortgages and saving hundreds of dollars each month and then asked you to answer a few questions and tell us what you think about this issue.
Your response was overwhelming. Nearly 20,000 of you responded in a little over 24 hours, telling us about whether you would benefit from this proposal, what you thought was most compelling about the plan, and sharing any additional questions you may have. One thing we learned? Nearly 50% of you hadn’t heard about the plan before, so we need to keep getting the word out.
Haven’t told us what you think yet? Visit Whitehouse.gov/why-refi.
We’re still pouring over the responses, and in the days ahead we look forward to sharing what we’ve read and answering many of the questions you’ve asked. In the meantime, while we at the White House know why we think this is an important proposal, we wanted to hear from you about how this would make a difference. Here’s what you said:
“Listen, people like me aren't looking for a handout. I've got decent credit and if weren't for the value of my home being significantly less than I owe, I would refinance now. If I could refinance at the historically low rates, I could do two things 1) Pay off some other debt and 2) buy things I and my family need. I would hope from a policy level both of these benefits would resonate because reducing personal debt and spurring consumer spending are both very good for this or any other economy.”
“If I had an extra few hundred dollars each month I'd definitely be spending more and putting that money back into the economy. “
“Finally I feel like there is a program that will benefit people like my husband and myself - people who pay our bills on time, try to skimp and save rather than run up credit card debt, and have never missed a single mortgage payment in 19 years, but because of lowered home values have been unable to take advantage of lower interest rates - until now. This program should save us almost $600 per month and will have more of an impact on our monthly budget than any previous tax rebate programs combined.”
“Three houses in my cul-de-sac were foreclosed recently. The owners tried to refinance so they had lower repayments but the banks wouldn't allow it, because of reasons mentioned in this presentation. With this policy in place, our neighbors would still be here and our community would be stronger for it.”
“My husband and I bought our townhouse in August of 2007, right before the bubble burst. We paid top dollar for a house that's now worth more than $100,000 less than what we paid. We pay our mortgage on time every single month, and we feel that we are being penalized for being responsible. We've considered refinancing, but we don't have the extra cash available to pay for all of the costs and fees associated with doing it. If we were able to refinance, we could save a couple hundred dollars every month that we could then use to replenish our savings, and contribute to the economy. We've always tried to do what's right, but it seems that we're on the losing end of this deal.”
“Being able to refinance while underwater will keep people in their homes. This is a huge money saver for entire neighborhoods. When I was selling a house in Santa Fe my neighbors across the street lost their house. The bank put it on the market for $140000 instead of the $230000 it was worth. That dropped my property value by about $10000. The family moved out and someone broke one of their windows. That cost me a few thousand more. Then someone spray painted graffiti on their garage door and there went more value from my home. There were a couple other houses for sale in the same neighborhood. We all lost because of that foreclosure.”
“It is so important for me because we have tried to refinance and 5 yrs ago I bought my house for $340,000 and today I still owe 240,000 but they tell me it's only worth 220,000! The past five years we paid it down $100,000 and now find out it has no equity and the bank wanted us to bring $25,000 to closing and they could do it! Seriously? If I had $25,000 I wouldn't have to refinance! With our property taxes increased we are now paying $2400 per month for a mortgage! It's getting serious for us because we don't have much of anything left over from our paychecks anymore and hadn't gotten a raise in three years! I so hope this plan goes through!”