The Madeleine Brand Show for October 24, 2011

President Obama announces new help to homeowners

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Michal Czerwonka/Getty Images

File photo: President Obama speaks to a crowd about his $75 billion mortgage relief plan back in 2009. The President will announce today a new plan to tackle the continuing mortgage problem the country faces.

President Obama was set to announce a new plan to allow underwater homeowners to refinance Monday. The Home Affordable Refinance Program was set up in 2008 to help homeowners who owe more than their home is worth. But it has helped far fewer people than was intended. Only about 800,000 homeowners have been able to refinance. A proposed revamp of the program would ease restrictions on loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, allowing a wider base of underwater homeowners to refinance. The President will make the announcement from Nevada, a state hit particularly hard by the mortgage meltdown as well as a key state in the 2012 election.


Paul Kiel, housing reporter for ProPublica.

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