After much ado on the international stage, President Obama decided to shift attention back to the domestic issues at hand, and where better to start than housing.
He assembled a "round table" in the Roosevelt Room, which included the Treasury and Housing Secretaries, as well as some homeowners who have benefited from the refinance component of the "Making Homes Affordable" plan, announced February 18th.
The President chose to focus on the refinance component of the program, rather than the modification component, because the leader of the free world is no dummy. The refi program has been very successful for thousands of homeowners across the nation. Refis are up 88% since the announcement of the plan and up 122% in just the past five weeks. Fannie Mae refinanced $77 billion worth of mortgages in March, nearly twice the amount in February. Even one of my cameramen finished his refi last week.
But what about the modification component? Administration officials will tell you that it's still ramping up. In fact the President said today, "we are in the process of rolling out some additional phases to the program," and one official told me that part of that will be a second lien component. But many of you have been writing in to the realtycheck blog (RealtyCheck@cnbc.com), telling your stories of frustration with the modification plan.
I thought I'd share one in particular, a homeowner working with Chase, who has not yet missed a payment but is close to it.
(Missing a payment is not necessary to qualify for the plan).