When Reno homeowners Valerie and Paul Keller applied to receive some relief on their home loan by refinancing their mortgage last January, they never imagined the process would end like this.
“I can’t even describe what it was like,” Valerie said. “It didn’t even seem real. He shook my and hand and gave me a hug. He mingled with the neighbors, talked to each one of my grandchildren and the rest of our family – it was just amazing.”
This was the scene last Friday when President Barack Obama walked up the Keller’s driveway to shake their hands, meet their family and talk about helping more homeowners just like them across Nevada and the nation.
Chatting over their kitchen table, President Obama heard from the Kellers and how the Home Affordable Refinancing Program, or HARP, helped reduce the interest rate on their mortgage and save them roughly $250 a month.
An hour later, with Paul and Valerie by his side, President Obama gave a short address from the Keller’s driveway calling on Congress to pass legislation to extend programs like HARP and help families save money.
“If they started now, in a couple of weeks, in a month, they could make every homeowner in America who is underwater right now eligible to be able to refinance their homes – if they’re making their payments, if they’re responsible, if they’re doing the right thing. And think about all those families saving $3,000 on average a year – that’s a huge boost to our economy.” – President Obama
Valerie recognizes what the program could do in her community. “This program is really important, I’ve talked to a lot of my neighbors and they would all be helped by it.”
President Obama recently asked Congress to tackle a to-do list of five specific things it can do to grow the economy and create more jobs. At the top of the list, helping homeowners just like the Kellers.
“If Congress passes this, there will be a lot of people who will be able to save money, money that would go back into the economy. And like the President said, this would help businesses, too,” Valarie said. “I would like to see change. I would like to see Congress work together,” she added echoing the President’s sentiments.
"The most amazing thing, after he gave the speech he said, ‘We'll have a picture with just your family.’ So we have a family portrait with the President of the United States. It was definitely a historic event for us."
To learn more about HARP and other programs designed to help homeowners, visit MakingHomeAffordable.gov
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