Low mortgage rates elude ‘underwater’ homeowners

Low mortgage rates elude ‘underwater’ homeowners

THE SEATTLE TIMES:  Today’s record-low mortgage rates are out of reach for millions of U.S. homeowners who would benefit from them most.

One in four homeowners with a mortgage – 11 million people – owe more than their home is worth. These “underwater” borrowers have virtually no shot at refinancing.

Their plight is a drag on the housing market and the broader economy.

The Obama administration is hoping at least 1 million of these borrowers will take advantage of its refinancing program under more lenient rules unveiled Monday. Homeowners who are current on their payments will be eligible to refinance no matter how much their home’s value has dropped.

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