Lower the Monthly Payments:
Home owners have been able to obtain lower mortgage payments and realize significant savings each month via Making Homes Affordable (MHA) modifications. There are several options for assistance for home owners who have seen their home value drop.
Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP):
If you are not unemployed, but you are still struggling to make your mortgage payments, you may be eligible for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). HAMP is designed to provide deep and meaningful savings for home owners devastated by unaffordable increases in expenses or reductions in income. Many mortgage companies, including Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Ocwen, participate in MHA Programs. If your mortgage is owned, insured, or guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veteran Affairs, or the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), then ask your mortgage company which solution will work best for you.
Home owners may be eligible for a Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) if you meet the following criteria:
- Financial hardship, you are struggling to make your mortgage payments.
- Delinquency or in danger of falling behind on your mortgage.
- Mortgages obtained prior to January 1, 2009.
- Property has not been condemned.
- Owe up to $729,750 on your primary residence or one-to-four-unit rental property (loan limits are higher for two-to-four-unit properties).
- You have not been convicted within the last 10 years of a crime in connection with a mortgage or real estate transaction.
Eligibility criteria are for guidance only. Contact your participating mortgage
Company to find out if you are able to begin your HAMP evaluation process.
Steps to apply for the HAMP:
Gather what you will need to complete the application for mortgage help (to assist you, the housing expert will need to gather some information from you). Have as many of the following documents on hand as possible:
- Monthly mortgage statement
- Information about other mortgages on your home, if applicable
- Two most recent pay stubs for all household members who contribute to the mortgage payment
- Last two years of tax returns If self-employed, the most recent quarterly or year-to-date profit and loss statement
- Documentation of income you receive from other sources (alimony, child support, social security, etc.)
- Two most recent bank statements
- A utility bill showing home owner name and property address
- Unemployment insurance letter, if applicable
- Account balances and minimum monthly payments due on all your credit cards
- Information about your savings and other assets
- It may also be helpful to have a letter describing any circumstances that caused your income to be reduced or any expenses to be increased (job loss, divorce, illness, etc.)
In addition, you need to complete the following forms:
- Request for Mortgage Assistance (RMA) Form. Get your forms at the following website: www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/requestfor. For mortgage assistance
scroll down to PDF request for mortgage assistance-making home affordable
IRS Form 4506T-EZ or 4506T.
- Get your forms at the following website: www.IRS.gov/ 4506EZ 0r 4506T scroll down to PDF Form 4506-T-EZ-Internal Revenue Service income Verification. Speak with a housing expert to better understand your options. The Making Home Affordable line is free, and counselors are there around the clock to help answer questions. The MHA line number is 1-888-995-4673.
Maintain good standing in HAMP:
Applying for a HAMP modification is a very important first step in getting to a more affordable mortgage, but getting a modification is just the beginning. It is important that you take the necessary steps to maintain your good standing in order to fully benefit from the advantages of HAMP. Fully understand the terms of your mortgage. If you are in need of help, call the Making Home Affordable line: 1-888-995-4673. Housing counselors are available around the clock to answer all of your questions and remember that this is a free service. Make your modification payments fully and on time by preparing now for future payment changes to improve your financial health for long-term success.