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FHA Loan Reader Question: What Happened to the Hope For Homeowners Program?

A recent reader question included a mention of the Hope For Homeowners program, also known as H4H. The reader was specifically asking whether it is possible to rent a property that qualifies under H4H. But what exactly is Hope For Homeowners?

In 2008 the subprime mortgage crisis created a major problem for homeowners–and not just those risking loan default and foreclosure. Property values were falling and many who purchased their homes found themselves owing more money than their property was worth.

In an attempt to stabilize the market, Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 was signed into law on October 3, 2008. Part of that new law included Hope For Homeowners, which was created to prevent qualified home owners from defaulting on their loans, and avert foreclosure. H4H allowed qualified borrowers to refinance into affordable, fixed-rate mortgages using an equity sharing program with the U.S. government.

Hope For Homeowners was phased out after September 30, 2011. Details of the phase-out can be found in HUD Mortgagee Letter 11-20, which gave lenders instructions as to how to process cases during the final days of Hope For Home Owners.

That means no new cases are now being processed. The reader question is basically moot for anyone looking to submit a new application for the H4H program–it is now closed. For those with home loans that were modified under H4H in the past, program rules and regulation information can be obtained by calling 888-995-HOPE (4673), which is the hotline for the Making Home Affordable program.

Do you have a question about FHA home loans? Ask us in our comments section. Due to the volume of questions we receive, we can only reply in the comment area–personal replies or phone calls are not possible.

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

February 23, 2012

Joe Wallace has been specializing in military and personal finance topics since 1995. His work has appeared on Air Force Television News, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and a variety of print and online publications. He is a 13-year Air Force veteran and a member of the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association. He was Managing editor for www.valoans.com for (8) years and is currently the Associate Editor for FHANewsblog.com.

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