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California Rep Introduces Homeowner Refi Bill

""Rep. Jim Costa"":http://costa.house.gov/ (D-California) introduced a House companion for the Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act, which seeks to cut through red tape in homeowner refinancing to make the option more broadly available.

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Costa introduced the legislation Wednesday, and received support for Realtors on the issue.

The ""California Association of Realtors"":http://www.car.org/ expressed support for the bill (H.R. 6428).

""C.A.R. thanks Congressman Costa for introducing this important legislation that will help millions of struggling homeowners refinance into affordable mortgages,"" said C.A.R. President LeFrancis Arnold. ""Allowing responsible homeowners to refinance will ensure that HARP can be used to its fullest potential and reach every homeowner it was intended to reach. We hope the House will find time to address this important piece of legislation prior to the end of the session.""

While the ""introduction of HARP 2.0"":http://dsnews.comarticles/fannie-and-freddie-detail-new-harp-guidelines-2011-11-15 made refinancing more available to homeowners with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages, barriers still exist for those seeking to refinance. According to a release from Costa's office, there are still nearly 13.5 million Americans with mortgages backed by the GSEs that could benefit from refinancing.

The bill plans to help responsible homeowners who are prevented from refinancing due to having too much or too little equity to qualify for HARP, a second lien, or mortgage insurance. The bill also plans to help those who can't afford to refinance because of upfront fees and costs from appraisals.

""Homeowners who have played by the rules deserve the opportunity to access current low interest rates,"" said Costa. ""We cannot continue to allow our economy and housing market to limp along the road to recovery. Now is the time for common sense solutions that put our families and communities first; my Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act does just that.""

Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-California) and Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey) ""reintroduced the Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act"":http://dsnews.comarticles/senators-introduce-refi-bill-2012-09-11 in September. The bill includes provisions that would eliminate up-front fees and appraisal costs, streamline the refinancing application process, and remove barriers to competition so lenders can compete for the borrower's business.

About Author: Esther Cho

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