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Obama pledges ‘step up in refinancing’

Latest speech focused on jobs

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The government "will step up refinancing so that homeowners can move into more affordable mortgages," President Barack Obama said in his first State of the Union address Wednesday evening."We're working to lift the value of a family's single largest investment: their home. The steps we took last year to shore up the housing market have allowed millions of Americans to take out new loans and save an average of $1,500 on mortgage payments." Obama did not elaborate on how the government would spur the increase in refinancing and lower mortgage costs, and focused more on jobs-related issues.He said the nation must avoid a repeat of the housing and financial run-up that preceded the economic crisis."We cannot afford another so-called economic expansion like the one from last decade -- what some call the lost decade -- where jobs grew more slowly than during any prior expansion, where the income of the average American household declined while the cost of health c...