Pursuant to Supplemental Directive 13-04 of this month, the Making Home Affordable Program, including HAFA (short sales) and HAMP (mortgage mods), is extended through the end of 2015.
Additionally, Supplemental Directive 13-04 simplifies the income documentation requirements under HAMP, by modifications to the rules concerning Form 4506-T; Benefit Income; Verification of Monthly Gross Expenses; Wage or Salary Income; Self Employment Income; Rental Income; and Alimony, Separation Maintenance and Child Support.
To illustrate, now the requirement that a servicer must verify monthly gross expenses is removed and a servicer may just rely on a borrowers stated expenses. With respect to the other categories, the Supplemental Directive enables the servicer to "verify such income in accordance with the [...] documentation the servicer relies on when modifying loans held in its own portfolio..."
The extension is certainly welcomed as the foreclosure crisis is far from over. Also, these new rules are smart as they simplify an unnecessarily complex process, which has resulted in both lenders and borrowers being frozen in time when seeking to follow the rules. Instead, its expected that more decisions will be made whether to modify a loan based upon these changes.