Robert Menendez

US Senator for New Jersey
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Helping Responsible Homeowners Refinance

This month, I will reintroduce my bill to help responsible homeowners refinance at today’s low interest rates. While it is only a piece of the solution, I believe it is the right thing to do for our middle class homeowners and communities.  As I prepare for this debate again in Washington, I’d like to hear from you. Please take a moment to learn more and answer a few questions.

The Responsible Homeowners Refinance Act

There are nearly 12 million homeowners with loans guaranteed through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who could benefit from my bill. They are paying interest rates above 5%, but can’t refinance at today's low rate of about 3.5% because of unneccearry barriers and hurdles.

My bill has 3 simple goals:

  • Knock down barriers so that borrowers who have been making their payments can access simple, low-cost finances, regardless of how much they owe on their loans;
  • Inject competition so homeowners can shop for the best deal;
  • Remove unnecessary red tape and frustrating hurdles that keep responsible homeowners trapped in high interest loans.

Here’s how we get there:   

  • Ensure that streamlined refinancing is available and consistent for all Fannie and Freddie borrowers, regardless of whether they are underwater or not;
  • Reduce up-front fees on refinances;
  • Eliminate appraisal costs for all borrowers;
  • Remove additional barriers to competition;
  • Extend HARP by one year, to allow eligible borrowers more time to access the program. 

My plan is good for both taxpayers and homeowners since reducing homeowners’ mortgage payments also reduces default rates and foreclosures, which in turn reduces Fannie and Freddie’s reliance on taxpayer bailouts.

It would put thousands of dollars back into the pockets of hard working New Jersey families a year, boosting our economy and helping middle class families who are trying to pay their bills and keep their homes.

I'm not going to give up. As I prepare for this debate again in Washington, I’d like to hear from you. Please take a moment to answer a few questions in the right-hand column.

Thanks for your feedback. 

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What New Jerseyans Are Saying

"For our family, it would make college more affordable, starting next year for our oldest son. With him about to start college and Joanne and I each pursuing advanced degrees, paying less for our mortgage would make the prospects of college and the tuition payments more palatable." - 07067

"I already have a low rate and an affordable mortgage but I think this plan can help many of my friends and neighbors." - 08055

Click Here for more stories from New Jerseyans.