"President Obama is taking action."
At least that's what the blog on the WhiteHouse.govsays today in describing the president's trip to Las Vegas.
"We can't wait to help homeowners," it goes.
That action consists of revamping an existing government refinance program through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for borrowers who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, so-called "underwater" borrowers. There are an estimated 11 million of those nationwide according to CoreLogic.
The original program, which started in 2009 and has helped about 900,000 borrowers get lower interest rates, was capped. You couldn't owe more than 25 percent more than your home was worth.
That cap is now gone, so you can be eligible no matter how underwater you are. Fees have been waived or lowered, banks have been largely let off the hook for reps and warrants on the loans (when they are forced to buy back bad loans), second liens can be transferred and mortgage insurers will move their coverage to the new loan.