Banks Launch Mortgage Refinancing Program

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2009 8:26 AM CDT
In this 2007 file photo, the Fannie Mae building in Washington is seen.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
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(Newser) – The country’s top lenders are slowly implementing the Obama administration’s plan to help otherwise ineligible borrowers to refinance their mortgages at the current bargain-basement rates, the Wall Street Journal reports. The program is open to those with mortgages owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae who are current on their payments, but who owe 80-105% of their home’s value.

The program is a central part of the administration’s $275 billion plan to stabilize the housing market. Though the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate rose this week, it’s still below 5%. Bank of America says it’s already received nearly 200,000 inquiries about the program from homeowners who’d like to take advantage of those rates, but wouldn’t otherwise have the equity.