If your home isn’t the refuge that storybooks say because of mortgage troubles, don’t give up.
If you’ve missed payments, you’re reaching the end of the interest only period, or the value has plummeted, you need some tools to help you stay in your home.
The bitter truth about the mortgage mess is that the fight is lop sided. Even the banks caught committing fraud on their borrowers are getting off easy. Enlist some help and be persistent.
Gathered here are links and points of contact for the major out of court levers to get you started on a quest for a reasonable modification of the loans on your home.
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
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 receivorship.
Fannie maintains a site listing options for Fannie Mae loans.
Freddie followed suit with its resources for modify Freddie Mac loans.
If your loan doesn’t qualify
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 don’t qualify for a subsidy (to the bank) for 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.
My clients have had some success asking their Representative in Congress and our US Senators for help getting the attention of the lender.
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.
Find a housing counselor near you.