Mortgage Relief Options
The Second Lien Modification Program helps homeowners with a second mortgage on their home. This applies to properties where the first mortgage was modified under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
The Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, has helped many homeowners lower their payments and save their homes from foreclosure. The Federal Housing Administration has a HAMP program targeted specifically for the loans they insure.
Many homeowners pay their mortgages on time, but are not able to refinance to take advantage of today’s lower mortgage rates, mainly due to a significant decrease in the value of their home. A Home Affordable Refinance will help borrowers refinance their first mortgage even if the balance owed is more than 100% of the home value. For example, let’s say the amount you owe on your first mortgage is $500,000. You may be able to refinance even if the home value is now only $400,000.
If your home equity line of credit has or is about to reset causing your mortgage payments to increase, there may be government programs or mortgage relief options available to you.
The Home Affordable Unemployment Program reduces or suspends mortgage payments for 12 months or more for homeowners who are unemployed. If you qualify, your mortgage payments may be reduced to 31% of your income or fully suspended.
The Principal Reduction Alternative encourages your mortgage lender to reduce the amount of principal you owe. Currently there are over 100 loan servicers participating in this program.
The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program is for borrowers who, although eligible for the government Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), are not able to secure a permanent loan modification or cannot avoid foreclosure. HAFA provides protection and money to eligible borrowers who decide to do a Short Sale or a Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure.
LOCAL STATE PROGRAMS
The US Treasury administers the Hardest Hit Fund, which provides aid to the states that were most impacted by the economic crisis. Each of these states have local agencies that help homeowners in various ways, including mortgage payment assistance for the unemployed, principal reduction, and transactional assistance. This helps people either afford the homes they’re in, or move to more affordable housing.
Under the federal Back to Work program, consumers who had a foreclosure, short sale, deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, or who declared bankruptcy may be able to get a new loan for a home if they are back to work and can document the extenuating circumstances.
Based on recent amendments to the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA), borrowers of certain types of mortgages are now required to complete pre-purchase housing counseling with a HUD-approved agency before closing the loan.
A Reverse Mortgage can assist in providing a tax-free cash flow to eligible homeowners 62 years of age or older. The Reverse Mortgage allows homeowners access to money that they have built up as equity in their homes. Primarily, the mortgage is designed to strengthen seniors personal and financial independence by making funds available to the homeowner, without the obligation of a monthly payment while in the home.
Credit.org’s Home Buyer education course will help you make good decisions when buying a home. It’s approved by HUD, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and can qualify you for savings on the cost of FHA mortgage insurance as well as other first-time home buyer assistance programs.
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In The Media:
A new wave of U.S. mortgage trouble threatens
“More than $221 billion of HELOC loans at the largest banks will reset over the next four years, about 40 percent of the home equity lines of credit now outstanding.”
Credit.org offers experienced advice to homeowners
“Credit.org has helped over 250,000 homeowners during the recent housing crisis. We are committed to providing financial education, housing counseling, and access to government programs to assist struggling homeowners.”