The Senate Banking Committee heard testimony today on legislation that would expand the number of homeowners who could refinance and take advantage of record low interest rates. The bill, co-sponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer of California and Bob Menendez of New Jersey, would apply to those who are current on their payments and whose loans are backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The bill would also eliminate all up-front fees and appraisal costs for borrowers, as well as streamline refinancing applications.
As part of his “To Do List” for Congress, the President has been urging lawmakers to cut red tape so that responsible homeowners who have been paying their mortgages on time can refinance before current rates increase.
The bill has garnered industry support and several Republicans have shown interest. There is also a wide range of backing from organizations including Americans for Financial Reform, National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Realtors, Quicken Loans and other housing-related groups.
Bill Emerson, Chief Executive of Quicken Loans, testified alongside Moody's Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi.