Obamas and Bidens Diverging in Home Loan Refinancing

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Despite encouraging homeowners to refinance their home loans to lower interest rates, President Barack Obama, has not taken advantage of this financial opportunity for his family.

According to a disclosure form released to the press, Obama, 52, and first lady Michelle Obama, 50, are making payments on the same mortgage as in 2005 when they purchase their Chicago residence. Their current interest rate is 5.625%. The form also showed almost no change to the family’s finances from 2013.

The disclosure form for Vice President Joe Biden shows a mortgage refinance for a Wilmington, Delaware residential property. The new mortgage rate is down to 3.375% in the Vice President’s case.

According to Freddie Mac surveys, the average rate for a 30-year FRM has decreased to a six-month low of 4.2%, from the 4.58% level in August 2013. Borrowing costs have been on the rise from 3.31% in November 2012.

White House spokesman Bobby Whitehorne refused to comment on the Obamas’ mortgage.

As for the details of the elected leaders’ finances, the disclosure forms showed the first family to be worth between $2 million and $7.2 million. The value of the Chicago home estimated at $2.1 million by the real estate web site Zillow.com, was not included in the calculated amount.

In 2013, the president received between $70,000 and $165,000 in royalties from his three books, in addition to his $400,000 annual salary.

Mortgage Debt

In the debt section, the presidential family had just the home mortgage listed on the form, with a remaining balance between $500,000 and $1 million. The values of assets and liabilities on the form are listed in broad ranges.

The assets listed by Biden, 71, and his wife, Jill, 62, are valued between $276,000 and $943,000, but the value of the vice president’s Delaware residence has not been included in the amount. The home value is estimated at $1.4 million according to Zillow.com. The debt amount listed by Biden is ranged somewhere between $630,000 and $1.6 million.

The wealth of the Obamas has been placed in a portfolio that shows both political and financial precaution.

The first family has invested their money in U.S. Treasury debt primarily. The amount invested by the Obama in Treasury notes ranges between $1 million and $5 million, with a maturity between one year and 10 years. Their disclosure form also lists $250,000 and $500,000 in Treasury bills with a maturity of up to one year.

Retirement Savings

The list of retirement savings includes the president’s pension from the Illinois state legislature, from his lawmaking service. The Obamas further declared 3 retirement funds invested in the Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX), with a combined balance between $300,000 and $750,000. The funds are similar in performance to the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index that had a 32.36% return in 2013.

College savings are also listed on the Obamas’ disclosure form. The report shows between $200,000 and $400,000 in tax-advantaged 529 college savings accounts.

At the end of the year, the Obamas had a combined balance of $151,000 and $365,000 in 3 checking accounts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Northern Trust Corp. The president does not have a checking a count, while the first lady does.

 

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