Obama announces new housing initiatives

WASHINGTON - (AP) - President Obama is announcing new mortgage relief for members of the military and veterans as well as homeowners with government-insured loans. The initiatives are the latest administration attempt to help borrowers struggling under a depressed housing market. Obama spelled out the plan Tuesday at the start of his first news conference of the year. Borrowers with mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration would be able to refinance at half the fee that the FHA currently charges. The administration says a typical FHA borrower who refinances could save more than $1,000 a year from the changes. For service members and veterans, Obama says major lenders will review foreclosures or denials of lower interest rates. If wrongly foreclosed upon, service members will be paid their lost equity and receive additional compensation.

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