Home Affordable Modification Program: Assistance for Homeowners

Posted on Jun 30, 2016 By Gail Donaldson

Gail DonaldsonMany of our clients schedule an appointment with our office because they are struggling to save their home from foreclosure proceedings.  A bankruptcy filing stops foreclosures as long as they are filed PRIOR to the foreclosure date.  What then?  Many times, the reason the foreclosure is set is because the monthly payment requirement is more than a client can afford as a result of reduced income due to layoffs or loss of job altogether.  What options are available?  One option is the HAMP program.

What is HAMP?

HAMP stands for Home Affordable Modification Program.  This program was started to help borrowers and investors.  It is a component of making homes affordable initiative.  The uniform modification characteristics are to reduce payment up to 31% of gross monthly income for HAMP Tier 1 and by any amount for HAMP Tier 2.  HAMP Tier 1 looks at two parts to calculate an affordable modified payment and then to see if the modification is in the best interest of the owners of the loan.  HAMP Tier 2 is offered to people who fail or are not eligible for standard HAMP modifications.

There is a trial modification followed by a permanent modification.  There are different types of HAMP.  Treasury’s HAMP includes participating services where everyone is screened and is subject only to investor limits.  All the major servicers participate for the most part except HSBC.  GSE HAMP includes all loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and must be screened for GSE HAMP.  Finally, other governmental insured loans like FHA, VA or RHS have their own set of rules.  It’s important to note that all participating servicers must modify all eligible loans.

How do I find out if my loan is covered?

For the Standard HAMP, you can find a list of participating servicers at www.makinghomeaffordable.gov.

Fannie Mae:       http://knowyouroptions.com/loanlookup

Freddie Mac:      http://ww3.freddiemac.com/loanlookup

Governmental Insured Loans:      HUD-1

How to get started?

So the first step is to seek HAMP options from your provider.  There will be lots of paperwork to complete.  Make sure you keep copies of everything you send to your servicer.  You can still seek a modification even if you are in bankruptcy.  If approved by your servicer, your attorney will need to file a motion for approval of the loan modification from the bankruptcy court.

Deadline

The current HAMP program ends December 30, 2016.  After this deadline, the modification option then reverts back to voluntary modification by servicers.

If your mortgage is more than you can handle and foreclosure is imminent, please call one of our offices to see if we can help you.