Oregon homeowners hope for help from Obama’s new plan
by KGW Staff
Posted on October 24, 2011 at 5:35 PM
Updated yesterday at 6:48 PM
PORTLAND – President Obama’s revamped “Home Affordable Refinance Program” may help underwater homeowners in Oregon and around the country.
Of the 9,100 homes for sale in the Portland Metro area alone, 2,000 are currently short sales and 500 are bank owned – or previous foreclosures.
Frank Sloan with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage said Obama’s new program – HARP – will reach out to more homeowners.
“It removes the 125-percent loan-to-value cap, so that people can still re-finance if they’re underwater and they haven’t used the HARP program before,” Sloan said.
This plan comes with a new set of much simpler rules, too.
“They [homeowners] need to be employed, they need to have good income, and they need to have good credit scores,” Sloan explained.
The homeowners mortgage payments must also be caught up.
The goal of the program is to prevent more foreclosures and short sales.
Steve Schwab, a principal broker at Keller Williams Realty, said that it still won’t be soon enough for many homeowners.
“I believe a lot of people if they could get out of their house all together they would,” he told KGW.
And many in the housing market were hoping for more from Obama’s latest plan. Many wanted an option for homeowners on the verge of foreclosure who can’t refinance and can’t make their payments, either.
“Distressed property owners that are out there, I’m seeing more and more every day, and their stories are tear-jerkers,” said Stacy Owens with Keller Williams Realty.
Wells Fargo Mortgage is waiting for the specific guidelines from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before it can offer the program to Oregon homeowners. Those final guidelines are expected to be available by mid-November.
Oregon Real Estate Principal Broker