Obama To Announce New Housing Initiatives

Obama To Announce New Housing Initiatives President Obama will use his press conference today to further expand his administration's housing finance policies.

The Associated Press, citing unnamed sources, says that the president will announce a new plan that allows homeowners with mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to refinance at half the fee that the FHA currently charges, from 1.15% to 0.55%. Although between 2 million and 3 million borrowers would be eligible for consideration, the administration would not estimate how many would choose to participate in this plan.

Furthermore, the president is expected to announce that the five major banks in the Feb. 9 foreclosure settlement will begin reviewing foreclosures of active-duty military personnel and veterans to determine if there were errors in the foreclosure process. Those who are found to have been wrongly foreclosed upon would be paid their lost equity and receive $116,785 in compensation.

Today's press conference, which takes place the same day as the Republican Party's Super Tuesday presidential primary event, is the second time in three months that the White House has scheduled a major housing market announcement opposite of a Republican event – previously, the administration announced its Jan. 4 recess appointment of Richard Cordray to run the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau the morning after the Iowa Republican caucus. In both cases, White House officials claimed the timing of their announcements were coincidental.


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