NPR : News

Filed Under:

Analysis: A New Initiative To Help Homeowners, But Can It Fly?

The president just announced a new initiative to help homeowners save money by refinancing their mortgages:

"Responsible homeowners shouldn't have to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom to get some relief.

"That's why I'm sending this Congress a plan that gives every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage, by refinancing at historically low interest rates. No more red tape. No more runaround from the banks. A small fee on the largest financial institutions will ensure that it won't add to the deficit, and will give banks that were rescued by taxpayers a chance to repay a deficit of trust ..."

Some economists from both the right and the left of the political spectrum have been pushing for more refinancing. They feel that credit has become too tight, and too many Americans are unfairly stuck in higher-rate mortgages.

Mortgage experts say more could be done by the president, particularly with taxpayer-controlled firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But by calling on Congress to pass legislation, by taking that route, it might be unlikely that the president will be able to get such legislation through Congress in an election year.

Also — Obama talked about paying for the program with some form of new fee or tax. Again — an unlikely prospect in an election year.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Lisa Lucas Takes The Reins At The National Book Foundation

Lucas is the third executive director in the history of the foundation, which runs the National Book Awards. Her priority? Inclusivity: "Everyone is either a reader or a potential reader," she says.
NPR

The Shocking Truth About America's Ethanol Law: It Doesn't Matter (For Now)

Ted Cruz doesn't like the law that requires the use of ethanol in gasoline. So what would happen if it was abolished? The surprising answer: not much, probably.
WAMU 88.5

The Latest on the Military, Political and Humanitarian Crises in Syria

Russia continues airstrikes in Syria. Secretary Kerry meets with world leaders in an attempt to resolve the country’s five-year civil war. A panel joins Diane to discuss the latest on the military, political and humanitarian crises facing Syria.

NPR

Twitter Tries A New Kind Of Timeline By Predicting What May Interest You

Twitter has struggled to attract new users. Its latest effort at rejuvenation is a new kind of timeline that predicts which older posts you might not want to miss and displays them on top.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.