For competitive reasons, the large lenders are reluctant to reveal their refinancing numbers, but they acknowledged that the news had been getting ever better for many borrowers. JPMorgan Chase, for instance, said that “refinancings have increased dramatically as a percentage of all new mortgages from a year ago, and the refinancing dollar volume has risen even more dramatically.” Chase also said it had added staff to its refinancing unit to process applications more quickly.
For those sober souls who were thrifty long before it became fashionable, the last few years have been intensely aggravating. They did nothing to cause the recession, but they absorbed the pain. Their stock portfolios languished. The values of their homes skidded. Their savings still do not earn enough interest each month to buy a pack of gum. Now, at last, the frugal are celebrating. With a leg up on their less creditworthy neighbors, they are qualifying for refinanced home mortgages at interest rates that in any other recent era would have been considered stealing. And unlike in late 2008, when rates started their plunge to historic lows, many lenders say they are rushing to accommodate the influx in applications. Wilner Samson and Michelle Smedley, both doctors, just refinanced their home in West Hartford, Conn., saving $300 a month. “There were times during the housing boom when I felt I was missing out on a big party,” said Dr. Samson, a kidney specialist. “Now I’m getting my reward.”
By David Streitfeld, Oct 22, 2010
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