President Obama’s first Press Conference of the year

While the Republicans were busy with Super Tuesday, President Obama held his first press conference of the year. President Obama defended his views on Iran and the standoff with them on their nuclear policy and also talked about mortgage relief for homeowners who served in the military and those with federally insured mortgages.

Addressing the US policy towards Iran President Obama said that the sanctions were having a positive effect and asked the international community as well as lawmakers to allow them some time to work. He felt that it would not be wise to go into war without exhausting diplomatic avenues and negotiations first. Many US lawmakers and all the candidates on the campaign trail for the Republican Presidential nomination have criticized President Obama’s handling of Iran, and Syria, calling it too soft and asking for a military offensive against Iran. President Obama refuted these allegations and said that going to war has serious consequences and is an expensive proposition both in terms of its impact on American soldiers and the American exchequer. He reiterated that the issues in the Middle East are complex and do not have an easy solution, decrying talk of war or of unilateral military action against Syria or Iran, Mr. Obama stressed the that he felt taking such action casually would be a mistake.

President Obama also spoke about the new mortgage relief measures for members of the military and people with government insured loans. Homeowners with mortgages that are insured by the Federal Housing Administration are mostly people who do not have enough equity in their properties to qualify for standard loans. The new rules cuts the annual fees that they pay on a refinanced mortgage balance from 1.15% to 0.55%, making it less expensive for homeowners to take advantage of the low lending rates prevalent right now. It is felt that this will result in a 100$ per months’ saving on a typical mortgage with a 175,000$ balance.

For members of the armed forces and veterans the plan requires lenders to review foreclosures and to decide if they were any lapses. In the event of a wrongful foreclosure service members as well as veterans will be paid to any equity that was lost and also to the $116,785 in compensation that has been previously agreed upon by major lenders and the federal government and  state attorney general’s of 49 states.

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