Making Homes REALLY Affordable?

Mortgage and Lending NMLS #94045

Principal Writedowns + Help for Unemployed Homeowners:
HAMP and Making Home Affordable Guidelines updated today are sounding pretty progressive: The much touted PR about Principal Balance Write Downs is being implemented by the first subscribers to the program: notably Bank of America, one of the most "hated companies in America"  according to Huffington Post, right behind GM and Chrysler. If the idea of principal write downs (lowering your loan balance) has any goodguy points be aware that we, you and I, will be paying for this via more bailout funds.

Why Bank of America? In their assumption of failed Countrywide Bank, B of A has acquired the lion's share of Pay Option ARMS, and assorted sub prime loans famous for exploding one's principal balance. Many of these loans were sold to people who simply did not qualify for the full principal and interest payments. They became the embarassment of the 'stated' income loophole and essentially took Countrywide down when the adjustments to higher rates created a rash of predictable mortgage defaults.The new MHA guidelines seek to expand the use of principal write-downs during the modification process. As one option. There are many. The stipulations are equally tight --so we are not cheering just yet.  

The approach will include incentive payments for each dollar of principal write-down, earned on a 'pay for successs' basis. Naturally lenders who are in danger of losing all via foreclosure might well breathe a collective sigh of relief. It's also good for 2nd Lienholders if the 1st Lien is brought in line to 80% of value rather than 120% thereby insuring they have a decent chance of collecting on the second. Eventually.

Unemployed Borrower Boon: The best news in this release is the consideration of reduced repayment terms for unemployed people while they are in job seeking mode. Up to 6 months break is being bandied about. So you could theoretically qualfiy for this using your unemployment insurance. If you find a job making less, the permanent terms would use HAMP guidelines to determine your new payment. Perhaps also lowering the principal in line with what you can now afford if your value has also dropped. 

Another HAMP initiative suggests of this annoucement promise 'clear performance timeframes" when a borrower is in the modification period. Indeed this is good news. We have seen some clients still struggling for help one year or more into their modification process.

HAMP will also now apply to FHA loans. Hint: any FHA lender who is worth their salt is already applying HAMP or better guidelines to their troubled assets.

Other help includes financial assistance (up to $3,000) to move to more affordable housing and extinguishment of subordinate liens (2nd and 3rd lines and loans). Several such programs already exist (notably Cash for Keys) but this release suggests more will be done to prevent foreclosures.

Perhaps now more than ever, it's important that homeowners in financial distress seek a trusted advisor to help them understand which programs may be of assitance. Seek out a bankruptcy attorney. Get your CPA on board. Ask your mortgage professional who is handling these programs. Speak with your State Attorney General, and HUD counselors.. The implications for individuals of which path they choose may have lasting effects on their financial future.

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NMLS# 94045



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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Phyllis Lerner call 914.438.7556 04/12/2010 04:27 PM
ActiveRain Community
Washington Whatcom County
The Art Of Marketing You
The FHA Mortgage Group
It's all about them (ThemThem)
Loan Modification Program
financial assistance
principal reduction
making home affordable
unemployed borrower help

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