A bill in the House proposing changes to the federal Home Affordable Refinance Program could lower interest rates for nearly 1 million Florida homeowners, the Palm Beach Post reported. Data released yesterday by the Center for Responsible Lending estimates that the changes to HARP would save the average refinancer in Florida approximately $3,035 per year in mortgage payments, or a total of $2.9 billion across the state. The bill, formally known as SB 3085, was sponsored by Senators Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Barbara Boxer of California.
Since HARP was passed in 2009, nearly 1.3 million homeowners nationwide have refinanced using the program’s guidelines, with 74,500 of those in Florida. “HARP 2.0 is an improvement, but it’s not nearly enough,” said Kathleen Day, a Center for Responsible Lending spokesperson. “This would put more money in consumers’ pockets, prevent foreclosures and boost the economy.” [Palm Beach Post] – Christopher Cameron