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Obama calls for expanded refinancing

Backers say bill would cut costs for homeowners, boost economy

President Barack Obama urged Congress last night in his State of the Union to pass a bill that would expand and streamline homeowners' ability to refinance at today's low rates."Today, our housing market is finally healing from the collapse of 2007. Home prices are rising at the fastest pace in six years, home purchases are up nearly 50 percent, and construction is expanding again," Obama said. "But even with mortgage rates near a 50-year low, too many families with solid credit who want to buy a home are being rejected. Too many families who have never missed a payment and want to refinance are being told no. That's holding our entire economy back, and we need to fix it." The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.53 percent at the end of last week -- near historic lows. "Right now, there's a bill in this Congress that would give every responsible homeowner in America the chance to save $3,000 a year by refinancing at today's rates," ...