Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J., have reintroduced legislation designed to help homeowners refinance their mortgages at lower rates. The senators previously offered the legislation in the 112th Congress.
According to the senators, their Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act of 2013 removes the barriers preventing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers from refinancing their loans at the lowest rate possible. The bill would ensure that streamlined refinancing is available and consistent for all Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers, regardless of whether they are underwater or not. It would also reduce up-front fees on refinances, eliminate appraisal costs for all borrowers, remove additional barriers to competition and extend the Home Affordable Refinance Program by one year. The legislation is co-sponsored by 19 Democratic senators and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt; no Republican has yet to sponsor the bill.
‘This bill is a win-win-win,’ Boxer says. ‘Homeowners will have more money in their pockets, Fannie and Freddie will see fewer foreclosures and the housing market and economy will continue building momentum. That's why the Menendez-Boxer bill has such broad support from industry and consumer groups. We should take action on this common-sense plan immediately while interest rates remain low so American families can realize major savings.’