The Obama Administration has announced new U.S. Department of the Treasury guidelines to enable servicers to begin modifications of eligible mortgages under the Administration's Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan.
The release of detailed requirements for the "Making Home Affordable" program facilitates implementation of the critical provisions that will help bring relief to responsible homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments, while preventing neighborhoods and communities from suffering the negative effects of foreclosure such as lower property values, increased crime and higher taxes.
You can see the complete Home Affordable Loan Modification Program Guidlines here.
Here are the highlights of the loan modification program:
• Mortgages for single-family properties that are worth more than $729,750 are excluded from the provisions of this bill. For two families the amount is $934,200. For three families the amount is $1,129,250 and for four families the amount is $1,403,400.
• Interest rates can be lowered to a minimum of 2 percent and then if necessary, the term of the loan can be extended to a maximum of 40 years.
• The home must be a primary residence and verified as such with a tax return, credit report, and other documentation such as a utility bill. The home may not be investor-owned property.
• The home may not be vacant or condemned.
• Borrowers must provide their most recent tax return and two pay stubs, as well as an "affidavit of financial hardship" to be qualified.
• Borrowers in bankruptcy are not automatically eliminated from consideration for a modification in this program.
• Borrowers in active litigation regarding the mortgage loan can qualify for a modification without waiving their legal rights.
• Borrowers are only allowed to have their loans modified once, and the program only applies for loans made on Jan. 1, 2009 or earlier.
• Eligibility is restricted to loans originated on or before January 1, 2009.
• Incentives are provided to extinguish second liens on loans modified under the program.
• Homeowners are eligible for up to $1,000 of principal reduction payments each year for up to five years.
• Separately, up to 5 million borrowers who have mortgages held by government controlled mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be eligible to refinance through June 2010.
This loan modification home affordability program should stem the tide for quite a few folks who would otherwise end up in foreclosure.
I applaud the fact that the government has finally started to take some meaningful action. This new bill comes on the heels of the 1st time buyers incentive program.
While these are great steps to get the nations housing back on track, there are some that are so far in over their head that even a loan modification is not going to help.
There are still options available that can be taken to avoid foreclosure. A short sale is one of the means that may allow you to sell your home and get rid of your debt.
See these articles for further details:
About the Author: The above Real Estate information on making home affordable loan modification program was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 508-435-5356.
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