Obama to announce action on mortgages
By Kate Mackenzie
October 24 (Financial Times) — US regulators on Monday plan to unveil a major overhaul of an under-used mortgage-refinance program designed to help millions of Americans whose home values have tumbled, the WSJ says. The plan will streamline the refinance process by eliminating appraisals and extensive underwriting requirements for most borrowers, as long as homeowners are current on their mortgage payments. The measures will not require congressional approval, says Reuters, and the first of the initiatives will be unveiled during Obama’s three-day trip to western states beginning Monday. He will discuss the changes in mortgage rules at a stop in Nevada, which has one of the hardest-hit housing markets in the country. The Obama administration has been working with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to find ways to make it easier for borrowers to switch to cheaper loans even if they have little to no equity in their homes.