In The News...
The government's HARP program was extended yesterday to the end of 2015, announced the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The program is geared towards towards helping those homeowners who are current on their mortgage, but have little to no equity to refinance their low at a lower interest rate. To qualify, you must be up to date on your mortgage, not have made a late payment in the past 6 months, nor can you have had more than one 30-day in the past 7-12 months. The mortgage must be backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and the mortgage must have been originated prior to June 1, 2009 and must be less than $417,000.
In economic news, Retail Sales fell in March as consumers grew concerned over the rise in payroll taxes while Consumer Sentiment fell to a nine-month low. The weaker than expected data that has been coming through could set up a swoon in the U.S. economy, just like it did in the past few years.
Over in the capital markets, Stock prices are pausing today after the recent meteoric rise that saw the closely watched S&P 500 Index hit a record high level of 1,597. Stock prices had been fueled by positive economic in January, February and early March along with support from the Federal Reserve's various stimulus programs.
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