President Barack Obama called on Congress to make it easier for millions of additional homeowners to refinance their mortgages at lower interest rates even if they owe more than their homes are worth.
The president unveiled details of his new plan to help struggling homeowners during a speech in Falls Church, Va., Wednesday.
The president wants to help borrowers who are current with their payments to refinance their homes.
His plan also calls for ways to facilitate the transition of foreclosed homes into rental properties. He plans to create a homeowner bill of rights that simplifies mortgage forms and provides more transparency to the borrowing process.
The president said the aid he's proposing isn't for homeowners who acted foolhardy.
"This plan, like the other actions we've taken, will not help the neighbors down the street who bought a house they couldn't afford and then walked away and left a foreclosed home behind," Obama explained.
"It's not designed for those who acted irresponsibly, but it can help those who acted responsibly," he said.
Obama's plan would give homeowners with privately held mortgages a shot at record low interest rates though a new government program, for an annual savings of about $3,000 for the average borrower.
"I'll be honest, the programs we've put forward didn't work at the scale we'd hoped," Obama said. "Not as many people have taken advantage of it as we wanted."
This is the latest plan the administration has rolled out in hopes of helping millions of struggling homeowners.