by Simon Volkov – (submitted 2010-03-31)
Making Home Affordable offers four programs; three of which help homeowners obtain reduced mortgage payments and prevent foreclosure. Home saving options include loan modifications, mortgage refinance, and second lien modification. A fourth program, Foreclosure Alternatives, is available to borrowers who can no longer afford to stay in their home.
The eligibility criteria for Making Home Affordable programs are somewhat limited; especially for borrowers who are currently delinquent with mortgage payments. In order to obtain foreclosure assistance through Home Affordable programs, homeowners cannot have been more than 30 days late on loan payments within the previous twelve months and must be current on their mortgage loan.
Qualified borrowers must submit applications for Making Home Affordable programs through their mortgage lender. The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) extends through December 31, 2012, while Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) expires on June 10, 2010.
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Home Affordable program participation is voluntary, so borrowers first need to determine if their lender is participating. The exception to this rule is lenders offering mortgages secured by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are required to offer Home Affordable options to borrowers. The Making Home Affordable website provides a list of participating mortgage lenders via their website at MakingHomeAffordable.gov.
Borrowers that apply for Home Affordable programs are subjected to standard lending procedures and required to provide financial documents and income verification. Borrowers applying for a loan modification will need to provide a Request for Modification and Affidavit (RMA) form, Internal Revenue 4506 tax form, and wage records. Many lenders also require a loan modification hardship letter which provides an explanation of events which caused financial hardships.
Home Affordable Modification Program is available to homeowners whose primary residence is a single family home consisting of no more than four units. Borrowers can apply for a loan modification under HAMP if the balance due on the first mortgage is within program limits. HAMP limits are: $729,750 for single family houses, $934,200 for two-unit houses, $1,129,250 for three unit houses, or $1,403,400 for four unit homes.
Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) is available to homeowners with mortgage notes for residential homes consisting of up to four units. Mortgage refinance criteria requires homeowners be current with home loan payments; have no payment delinquencies of more than 30 days within the previous twelve months; and owe less than 125-percent of the current market value.
Borrowers in preforeclosure should contact their bank’s loss mitigation department immediately to discuss available options or apply for Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program. Homeowners can learn more about Home Affordable programs and eligibility requirements by visiting MakingHomeAffordable.gov.
About the Author
Author and real estate investor, Simon Volkov, provides additional details about Making Home Affordable program, along with foreclosure prevention alternatives and how to short sale real estate via his website at www.SimonVolkov.com.