I'm trying to understand the Home Affordable Modification Program and whether or not it is for us. I'm not clear if this is the right program for me. Our loan is an FHA loan and we are current on our payments. Unfortunately our house is underwater and we are struggling to keep up. What should we do to find out if this program is right for us? And we know that President Obama has endorsed this program, but can he really get the banks to help homeowners like us out? Thanks
The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), which was initiated by President Barack Obama, is available to residents of their homes whose first mortgage is no more than 125 percent of the property's current market value. It is open to open to homeowners whose mortgage is guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Borrowers must be current on their mortgage, but at risk for foreclosure. To qualify a homeowner must also not owe more than $729,750 on a single-unit home, and their monthly mortgage payment must come to more than 31 percent of their gross income.
HARP is related to the HAMP program. The goal of HAMP was to get 500,000 risky loans under trial modification by November 1, 2009. Approximately 650,000 trial loan modifications went into effect by December of 2009. Mortgage lenders willing to modify loans receive incentives from the U.S. Treasury under HAMP as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
To date, HAMP has already helped create more than 112,000 permanent loan modifications for borrowers who are facing foreclosure. Of those, 66,465 have been accepted by borrowers. Another 46,056 are waiting for signatures from homeowners. Overall, the program has produced more than 1.16 million trial-period plans. HAMP's goal is to help 3 million to 4 million people who may be facing a foreclosure and the program runs through 2012.
As of December 2009, 787,231 trial loan modifications are active through HAMP. During the fourth quarter, the number of active and permanent modifications increased 75 percent.
When the program was announced, its stated goal was to help between 3 million to 4 million homeowners decrease their mortgage payments, while also helping people avoid foreclosure.
To learn more about this program, see the Bills.com article Is the HAMP Program Right for You? To get started with HAMP loan modification, go to the Home Affordable Refinance Program Web site or contact your creditor directly.
I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.