If you go to www.FHA.gov and look under the Press Releases section, you’ll find a recent update to the HUD Making Home Affordable program–an update that could mean thousands of dollars for some who take part in that HUD program. Some borrowers who got into trouble with their mortgages during the housing market crisis were able to take advantage of the Making Home Affordable program; the most recent update is good news for those who have been successful in it.
According to a recent HUD press release, HUDNo.14-150:
“WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced enhancements to programs under Making Home Affordable (MHA) to better assist struggling homeowners and communities still recovering from the effects of the financial crisis. The enhancements are designed to motivate homeowners in MHA to continue making their mortgage payments on-time, strengthen the safety net for those facing continuing financial hardships, and help homeowners in MHA programs build equity in their homes, an important factor in stabilizing neighborhoods.”
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro is quoted in the release stating, “Today’s announcement signals our commitment to helping more hardworking families continue the American dream of homeownership…These enhancements will expand the opportunity for more folks to stay in their home, stabilizing local communities and continuing our nation’s positive economic momentum.”
According to the HUD official site, the U.S. Treasury and HUD established the Home Affordable Modification Program back in 2009, “to provide relief to homeowners facing financial hardship. Through a combination of lowered interest rates and modified loan terms, monthly payments are reduced to affordable levels. In addition, many homeowners who remain current following their modification are eligible to earn up to $5,000 over the first five years of their modification, which is applied in repayment of their outstanding principal balance.”
What are the changes announced in the press release? All homeowners participating in HAMP will now, “be eligible to earn $5,000 in the sixth year of their modification, which will reduce their outstanding principal balance by as much as $10,000. Homeowners will also be offered an opportunity to re-amortize the reduced mortgage balance, which will have the effect of lowering their monthly payment. As of today, approximately one million homeowners with HAMP modifications are eligible to earn the increased HAMP incentive.”
Borrowers who may have trouble making their mortgage payments in HAMP Tier 1 or similar non-HAMP modifications, “Treasury and HUD have introduced enhancements to HAMP Tier 2 and the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives® (HAFA) Program. HAMP Tier 2 is an alternative modification that provides a low fixed rate for the life of the loan to homeowners who do not qualify for or cannot sustain a HAMP Tier 1 modification.”
According to HUD the new changes to that portion of the program include lowering the interest rate for HAMP Tier 2, “by 50 basis points, which will enable more homeowners to qualify for a modification, and extending the $5,000 pay-for-performance incentive to HAMP Tier 2 borrowers in good standing at the end of the sixth year of their modification.”
Speak to your lender about these programs if you need to discuss foreclosure avoidance. You can also visit MakingHomeAffordable.gov to explore all foreclosure avoidance options available.