October 17th, 2011 8:18 AM by Lehel S.
A leading HUD official has echoed President Obama's push to reform mortgage refinancing to help more borrowers take advantage of historically low rates and lower their monthly payments.
"As the President announced in his recent speech to Congress," said HUD Assistant Secretary Raphael Bostic, in his commentary of Wednesday's Obama administration monthly housing scorecard. "...to help responsible homeowners, we must make it easier for more people refinance at interest rates that are now near 4 percent."
He added: "That alone can put more than $2,000 a year in a family’s pocket, and give a lift to our still-struggling economy."
The monthly report - released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury - shows "mixed signals" in the national housing market, as values increased but there's still "continued strain from foreclosures and distressed sales."
•Nationally, foreclosures fell, but that was due in part to "lender processing issues."
•Seventy-six percent of eligible homeowners who enter a trial loan modification through the federal government's Home Affordable Modification Program since June 1, 2010 has secured a permanent modification. The average trial period is 3.5 months.
[Read the full report]