With our historically low mortgage rates, President Obama is pushing the Republicans again about a piece of legislation he proposed back in February. The Obama Administration believes it would help many of the struggling homeowners and families trying to keep their homes, pay their debt, and prevent many foreclosures.
President Obama mentioned today on his weekly radio/Internet address that “Here we are – seven months later – still waiting on Congress to act”. It’s the typical response from Obama and same whether we are talking about jobs or mortgages.
Republicans won’t agree to the proposal because of its $5 to $10 billion cost. Like many things sitting in Congress from Obama they come at a high cost. Just like this proposed refinance offer or the many construction bills on the table to inflate the jobs numbers spending money on special road projects that are not “must” have work.
The idea of refinancing your home fails in many ways. Honestly, it was a failure before it even started. The biggest problem is that it’s governed by your bank. The bank evaluates if you even qualify for a refinance. You need a job and steady income proven with years of IRS documents. In short, you have a be a long term paying citizen to even quality. If you break even at the end of the year when it comes to taxes or owe anything you wouldn’t “qualify” for refinancing. On paper you wouldn’t be making any money to pay the bills. However, if you’re really good citizen and make 100K a year (paying 35% to taxes) and keeping the rest – you would qualify for home refinancing. If you get my point to be eligible by the bank you’re IRS documents must state you’re paying them and doing your civic duty. Breaking even or paying the IRS isn’t going to allow you to refinance your mortgage rate.
The other problem and I am sure President Obama knows this (many homeowners don’t) is that Washington state like many states is a non recourse state. If you ever just give up on your home and walk way in Washington State, the bank will foreclose on you (ruin your credit) and that will be it. There will be no legal repercussions. The bank won’t come after you for the remaining balance after auction should they lose money overall on your loan. In some states they can sue you for the rest of the loan. HOWEVER, take note that non-recourse doesn’t apply when you refinance. Non recourse also doesn’t apply to equity loans should you have one. So trying to do the right thing may in fact make your financial issue even worse and that is why I would never support this refinance plan by Obama. Many innocent people will get trapped into a bigger mess trying to do the “right thing” to make it work. If you refinance and walk away the bank can come after you later once they low-ball it at an auction to some investor.
I have said it before that homes are not investments they are liabilities. Buying something 4 times it’s worth will never work out. The numbers simply don’t work out anymore. Don’t get to attached and I’m a strong advocate of walking away if you must. Banks got their bailout and already been paid for your home so know when to cut your losses on your home if you must.
By passing this Obama refinance plan, it forces people to try to make it work and not walk away from a really bad idea (home). It puts you even more at the mercy of the bank and I assure you they don’t give a rats ass about you or your family.