Home > Mortgages > Struggling With Your Mortgage? 7 Programs That Can Help

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Buying a home and getting a mortgage: We all know these are big decisions that will impact our future tremendously — financially and beyond. No one knows this better than people struggling to make mortgage payments. If you find yourself in this position, there are some government programs that can help you refinance to a new mortgage that makes more sense for you or walk away with minimal credit damage. Check out some of the mortgage refinance programs the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Making Home Affordable Program (MHA) have available below.

1. HARP

The Home Affordability Refinance Program allows certain homeowners to refinance even if they are underwater on their mortgage (owe more than their home is worth). To qualify, your current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%, but For Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage owners current on their payments, this means lower housing costs and greater peace of mind. You will need mortgage statements and income details like a paystub or income tax return to apply and should contact your mortgage company and see if it is an approved HARP lender or go straight to a HARP lender and tell them you are interested in refinancing. See if you qualify for HARP here. This program is set to expire at the end of 2016.

2. HAMP

The Home Affordable Modification Program is for homeowners whose financial circumstances have worsened since purchasing their home. As with HARP, you must have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage, but HAMP is more of a modification to your current loan to avoid foreclosure. You can owe up to $729,750 on your primary residence to qualify and should contact your mortgage servicer to submit your application. HAMP is also set to expire Dec. 31, 2016

3. HAFA

The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives is for those who can’t afford their mortgage payment and must transition out of homeownership. It leaves the option of a short sale, where you sell your house for an amount less than the amount you still owe but the lender absorbs the difference, or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, where you give your title back to the mortgage company to avoid foreclosing. HAFA mortgage limits are also $729,759 and your mortgage must have originated on or before Jan. 1, 2009.

4. HHF

The Hardest Hit Fund helps families who are facing foreclosure stay in their homes in the states that were especially hurt by the housing crisis and other concentrated economic distresses. Essentially, this program gave money to housing finance agencies in Nevada, Michigan, California, Florida, Arizona and 13 other states plus the District of Columbia to help those with declining home values that are delinquent on mortgages. State HHFs have until 2017 to use the $7.6 billion that has been allocated for this program.

5. PRA

The Principal Reduction Alternative Program works with HAMP to encourage mortgage servicers and investors to reduce the amount of principal on mortgages not backed by the government. You must owe more than your home is worth and have a mortgage payment greater than 31% of your gross (pre-tax) monthly income to qualify. You must prove you are facing a financial hardship or are in danger of falling behind on payments and prove you do have sufficient, documented income to make the modified payment. More than 100 servicers participate in this government-backed program for principal reduction. Keep in mind that these servicers are required to have written standards for PRA applications. The limit for this program is also $729,750 and you must have obtained your mortgage on or before 2009.

6. 2MP

The Second Lien Modification Program also works in tandem with HAMP for homeowners struggling to make mortgage payments due to a HAMP modification, equity loan, home equity line of credit (you can learn more about HELOCs here) or some other type of lien. This can be given in the form of a modification or principal reduction on your second mortgage. You must not have missed three consecutive monthly payments on your current HAMP modification.

7. UP

The Home Affordable Unemployment Program is a supplemental plan to HAMP for those who are unemployed and need a mortgage payment reduction. The government can reduce your payments to 31% of your income or even suspend them for 12 months or more, depending on your need. You must be eligible for unemployment benefits, have no previous HAMP modification, owe no more than $729,750 on your home, and have a mortgage obtained on or before 2009 to qualify for this program. It’s important to have your full-file credit report ready and contact your mortgage servicer to see if you are eligible. You can get your free annual credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com, and if you want to check your credit more often, you can get a free credit report summary every month on Credit.com. You will be evaluated for a HAMP refinance at the end of your UP forbearance period if it is available once that time comes. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages currently do not have an unemployment program available.

No matter what your specific situation and how desperate you feel, it is a good idea to take the time to look into government programs and see if there is one that will meet your needs.

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  • Jarvis

    The BANKSTERS continue to commit fraud upon hardworking people and fraud upon the courts. The biggest Ponzi scheme the world has ever seen , where the Banksters created credit out of thin air, not for their borrowers, but for the banksters themselves via the Federal Reserve’s magic check book, with no bank account behind it. The Bankster then loaned that imaginary money to people on the security of overvalued real property with the deliberate aim of reducing the artificially raised property prices and putting people out of work.People without income cannot pay their bills, so they were guaranteed they could steal all that real property from their rightful owners. Of course you would say to yourself, that makes no sense because the Banksters would lose money when foreclosing on the security , but you’d be wrong because the banksters insured the debt with an insurance company, but just forgot to tell the borrowers that. SO they knew they could not lose. Its what you might call having your cake and eating it too. You see, just secretly insuring the debt was the way they ensured that they lost no money. First they sold investors in Wall Street on the idea of using pensions and other fund moneys to invest in the profitable housing market. Then they sold homeowners on the idea of borrowing money against their rising property values, secure in knowing that they had artificially raised those prices and knew they could reverse that trend rapidly, when the time was right. Then they found another group of investors and sold them on insuring against the unlikely risk of those secure mortgages defaulting. But, as you know, they had already insured the downside risk. So they devised a new name that no one understood called the credit default swap. These were not insurance policies regulated by the states, but were unregulated securities sold on wall street to investors. So, once they got the business of insurance outside of the regulatory realm, it was no holds barred and they sold the same investment to up to 20 different groups in respect of every mortgage pool they pretended to create in the securitized mortgage scam.But people need to lose the mindset of someone who has been brainwashed by the garbage put out by government at state and federal level and echoed in the corporate owned media.
    SO therefore, The banksters along side Freddie and Fannie, were and still are continuing to submit fraudulent documents to the courts in order to steal homes from homeowners. They and their substitute trustee lawyers (ie Samuel I White PC, just one of many ) are submitting FRAUDULENT papers to the courts in order to FRAUDULENTLY foreclose on homeowners across the nation. Mortgage notes with Forged Owners signatures and ta-da endorsements are being submitted to the courts in order to steal homes. Bank of america(or as they like to refer to themselves…fka countrywide) made a deal with the attorney generals to modify loans that they really had no right to modify as they were illegally acquired to begin with. They committed notary fraud, forgery, added fake endorsements and as their crimes began to come to light…………they made a deal and instead of modifications (which they LED the homeowners to believe what was happening)….they handed the fraudulent documents over to Green Tree, soon to be called DiTech..corporate criminals are notorious for changing their names after lights shine on their crimes…, among others, to foreclose. Meanwhile, homeowners are the ones who are paying the price by having their homes taken because of felonies that are being committed . Fraud upon the courts, racketeering, forgery, wire fraud, notary fraud…pathetic, nauseating, and just all around COMPLETELY disgusting. Wake up America.

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