New Programs for Struggling Homeowners

Are you struggling to pay your mortgage or sell your home to avoid foreclosure? Help may be right around the corner.  Last month the government announced that it is making adjustments to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) programs.

While the programs listed below have been updated to allow additional people to qualify, the biggest benefit to consumers are the incentives HAMP is offering to lenders and loan servicers who agree to provide a homeowner with one of the services listed below. The incentives encourage loan servicers to agree to loan modifications, refinance loans and agree to short sale offers that they previously may have denied.

Here are just a few of the highlights of programs for homeowners coming down the road. Some will be available in the next two weeks; others will be rolled out over the coming months.

1.     For borrowers who have not been able to refinance a loan due to the decreased value of their home, the HAMP may help you get into a more affordable mortgage. Borrowers’ loans must be backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. To see if your loan qualifies click here and select the link for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

This is also an option for people who have a second lien on their property. Refinancing may allow you to consolidate the two loans and have one, affordable monthly payment.

2.     If you have experienced a loss of income or an increase in the interest rate on your home loan, a mortgage modification may be the key to staying in your home. If you are eligible for the modification, visit this website to find out if your lender has a contract agreeing to participate in the Home Affordable Modification Program.  

3.     Another option for homeowners who are not able to stay in their homes is through the Home Affordable Foreclosures Alternative. If you sell your home through a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, you may receive up to $3,000 to help with relocating to a more affordable residence. Visit http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/hafa.html to find out more information.

Eligibility for all programs is different. To determine whether you qualify go to http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/eligibility.html and click on the link under the program you are interested in. 

If you need assistance with your mortgage and understanding the different options available, talk to a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved housing counseling agency near you. Also, foreclosure and loan modification scams are increasing in numbers. Be wary of anyone who offers to “save” your home or lower your loan payment “for a fee”.

For more information about any of these programs visit www.makinghomeaffordable.gov.