Photo: AP Photo/Susan Walsh
President Barack Obama will trumpet the new mortgage refinance rules announced today by the Federal Housing Finance Agency — but his administration admits it has no idea how many people they will help.The new rules eliminate the loan-to-value ceiling under the Home Affordable Refinance Program allowing more underwater homeowners to take advantage of the program.
But Gene Spelling, the director of the National Economic Council, told reporters Monday that it is “uncertain” how many more Americans will now be eligible for refinancing.
He added that it’s also uncertain how many homeowners who are eligible will take up the program — but maintained that the rules change is still “significant.”
To date, under 1 million homeowners have taken advantage of the HAMP program — despite Obama’s promise in 2009 that it would help between 3-4 million people.
FHFA says its best guess is that the new rules changes “may roughly double or more” the number of refinances under the program to date — still a far cry from Obama’s original target.
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