As mortgage rates hit new lows every week, the number of homeowners seeking to refinance their homes has spiked to its highest level in five years. But many have been unable to win approval for their applications. And even some of the homeowners who do qualify have backed off, once they found out how difficult it was to get the advertised rate. So what should be a bright spot in an otherwise dismal economy — throngs of homeowners locking in low, fixed-rate mortgages that will free them up to spend elsewhere — threatens to become another example of how even the best government intentions do not always pan out.
By Tara Siegel Bernard, Jan 24, 2009, NYT

Link to full article