Saturday, March 21, 2009

Locked Out of Refinancing

As Rates Dip, Some Find They Don't Qualify

Action by the Federal Reserve is driving mortgage rates to historic lows, but many borrowers will be left out.
(By Robert F. Bukaty -- Associated Press)

By Dina ElBoghdady and Renae Merle
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, March 21, 2009;

The Federal Reserve's huge gesture this week to keep already-low mortgage rates down seems to be working.

The average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 5.15 percent when the Fed announced its plans midweek, slipped to 4.94 on Thursday then rose to 5 percent yesterday and chances are it will stay around there through year's end, according to HSH Associates, a mortgage research firm.

But not everybody will be able to get a break, especially people who do not have a lot of equity in their homes -- one of the biggest problems facing owners now as housing values drop. Even though the Obama administration recently rolled out a program to help such borrowers, many will be left out because they cannot meet the plan's minimum requirements.
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