Monday, September 24, 2012

Don't give up the fight to save your home!

The fight to save your home is not easy.  To help, we have gathered some relevant links and points of contact.  Don’t give up.
HAMP stands for Home Affordable Mortgage Program.  The federal government offers the lenders financial incentives to modify mortgages and even reduce principal.
  • Making Home Affordable   Here’s the portal that leads you to different programs within HAMP:  loan modification, foreclosure prevention, etc.
Eligibility starts with home loans with principal balances under $729,750 on single family homes that is your principal residence.  Not all lenders participate, and not all loans qualify.  Here’s the HAMP FAQ
If your loan is insured by the Federal Housing Administration, there’s a separate program for loan modification.  Call FHA’s National Servicing Center at (877) 622-8525 for more information.
National Mortgage Settlement
This isn’t a program so much as a requirement that the five biggest servicers provide billions in concessions to borrowers to atone for their misdeeds. The settlement has its own website and a court appointed monitor to make sure the banks do what they are required by the settlement to do.  The monitor wants to hear about difficulties the public has with the banks involved.  Here’s where to lodge a complaint. If your servicer is one of these banks, you may be eligible for help.
Fannie & Freddie
The settlement does not extend to loans owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the giant buyers of home loans.  They are now in government receivership.
Freddie followed suit with its resources for modify Freddie Mac loans.
If your loan doesn’t qualify for any of the above:
The mortgage modification programs above focus on owner occupied homes with mortgages under a certain limit.  Banks have their own modification programs for loans that do not qualify for a “standard” modification.  Contact the lender directly for loss mitigation or foreclosure prevention programs.
Getting the runaround?
Trouble with lenders and servicers seems to be everywhere.  The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to hear complaints about servicers.
Some people have had some success asking their Representative in Congress and our US Senators for help getting the attention of the lender.
Free counseling
The federal government’s Housing and Urban Development Department certifies counselors who can help you understand your options for your home.  Their services are free and reliable.
The bitter truth about loan modifications is that lenders are largely indifferent to the borrower’s troubles and grossly inefficient in processing applications.  Success requires dogged determination.  Do not take no for an answer.  Reapply, seek help from your governmental representatives, and consider whether a Chapter 13 case and the supervision of a judge would even the odds – it usually does.  In fact, loan modifications are often easier to obtain inside of the protection of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy than outside.  Call us today to learn more.