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From Banker & Tradesman

It’s a question a lot of folks have been asking ever since President Obama unveiled details of his mortgage rescue plan 12 days ago: How many Bay State residents will be eligible for help?

Part of Obama’s plan aims to help owners refinance if their first mortgages fall between 80 to 105 percent of the value of their home. The first loans must be owned or securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The Warren Group has begun to analyze its data to determine how many people in Massachusetts would qualify for refinancing help. In this week’s Banker & Tradesman, Ian Murphy uses Warren Group data in a story about underwater mortgages. He reports that 18 percent of all mortgages in Massachusetts are underwater – meaning that the homeowner owes more on the home than it’s currently worth. (By the way, that’s for single-family homes and condos only. The percentage would likely creep up if two- and three-family properties were thrown into the mix.)

What’s left out of the story is another interesting tidbit: about 14 percent of all single-family home and condo properties in the state — or more than 228,000 households — fall in that 80 to 105 percent loan-to-value group that the president’s plan is targeting.

And 11 percent of the state’s single-family home and condo owners – or 183,902 – actually have mortgages that are higher than 105 percent of the value of their homes.

Any thoughs?

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