Obama Has a Mortgage Deal for You

Posted April 9, 2009 at 11:46am

Everyone knows President Barack Obama has recently gotten into the car business. Earlier this year, he had a hot tip on stocks, noting that prices were pretty low and it might be time to get back in the market. And once the “stress test— on banks is done and some financial institutions start getting federal money, the president may want to tell the public about some attractive money market accounts.

What’s more, the administration is looking at handing some Troubled Assets Relief Program money to life insurers, too.

But on Thursday, the president was discussing hot mortgage refinancing options. Having inherited a tanking economy, Obama, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke acted, and they say the time to redo your mortgage is now.

“What you’ve seen now is, rates are as low as they’ve been since 1971,— Obama declared in the Roosevelt Room.

“As a consequence of us being able to reduce the interest rates that are available, we have now seen some extraordinary jumps in the rate of mortgage refinancings,— he said.

Jumping into his pitch, Obama said: “There are 7 to 9 million people across the country who, right now, could be taking advantage of lower mortgage rates. That is money in their pocket.—

How much money, Mr. President?

“We estimate that the average family can get anywhere from $1,600 to $2,000 a year in savings by taking advantage of these various mortgage programs that have been put in place.—

It’s so easy, Obama said, there’s no reason not to do it.

“The way the Web site is designed, you can plug in your information and immediately find out whether or not you’re potentially eligible for one of these — one of these mortgage refinancings.—

If you don’t think you’ll qualify, or don’t think the president has what you want, think again.

“There are a range of different programs that are available for a range of different types of borrowers,— Obama said. “We hope that everybody takes advantage of it. … Get on the Web site, find out what’s available.—

Obama also had a word for the shady dealers who love to prey on such programs.

“As people have become aware that the government is helping to promote refinancing, we’re starting to see some scam artists out there who are contacting people, saying, You can refinance your home; the government’s got a program. We’re ready to help. Oh, but by the way, first you’ve got to pay some money.’—

But, Obama, added, “I just want everybody who’s watching today to know that if somebody’s asking you for money upfront before they help you with your refinancing, it’s probably a scam.—

Some reporters, perhaps confirmed renters, just didn’t seem to care.

“Can we get a quick reaction on pirates?— shouted one.

“Guys, we’re talking about housing right now,— the president reminded.

And anyway, pirates live on boats. It has nothing to do with a quality refi.