LIEB BLOG

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Showing posts with label Supplemental Directive. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Supplemental Directive. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

New Making Home Affordable Handbook Released: Program to End in 2016

The U.S. Department of Treasury recently released Supplemental Directive 16-04 (Making Home Affordable Program – Handbook for Servicers Version 5.1).  This Supplemental Directive announces the release of Version 5.1 of the Making Home Affordable (“MHA”) Handbook (the “Handbook”).  This newest version of the Handbook consolidates the “sunset” provisions provided by the U.S. Department of Treasury in Supplemental Directive 16-02 (MHA Program Termination and Borrower Application Sunset) and Supplemental Directive 16-03 (MHA Program Termination and Borrower Application Sunset II) into one location for ease of reference.

Distressed homeowners who are facing foreclosure must submit their request for mortgage assistance under the MHA program by December 31, 2016.  After that date, lenders will no longer be required to comply with the MHA guidelines set forth in the Handbook.  This will leave many distressed homeowners with few remaining options and most will face the possibility of foreclosure.

The MHA program was announced in 2009, by the Obama Administration, as a relief to distressed homeowners.  The MHA program’s objective is to provide guidelines to lenders to modify the terms of eligible mortgages so that “at-risk” homeowners would be able to reduce their monthly mortgage payments and to avoid foreclosure.  According to the most recent MHA Program Performance Report, during the last 7 years, the MHA program has only helped 2.5 million of the 7 to 9 million homeowners that were identified as “at-risk” by the Obama Administration in 2009.  This means that the remaining 4.5 to 6.5 million “at-risk” homeowners who do not submit their request for borrower assistance by December 31, 2016, will be faced with foreclosure.

Congress’ decision to abandon the MHA program seems misguided because of the time and resources it has invested in the program.  Most importantly, the termination of the program on December 31, 2016, leaves up to 6.5 million “at-risk” homeowners scrambling to submit requests for assistance of face the possibility of foreclosure. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Making Home Affordable Program to End in 2016

The U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) recently released Supplemental Directive (SD) 16-03 (MHA Program Termination and Borrower Application Sunset II) to the Making Home Affordable (MHA) handbook, containing “sunset” provisions for its MHA program. The release of this Supplemental Directive signals that there will be no further extensions of the program.

The Making Home Affordable program was announced in 2009, by the Obama Administration, as a relief to distressed homeowners. The MHA program’s objective is to provide guidelines to lenders to modify the terms of eligible mortgages so that “at-risk” homeowners would be able to reduce their monthly mortgage payments and to avoid foreclosure. According to the most recent MHA Program Performance Report, during the last 7 years, the MHA program has only helped 2.5 million of the 7 to 9 million homeowners that were identified as “at-risk” by the Obama Administration in 2009. This means that the remaining 4.5 to 6.5 million “at-risk” homeowners who do not submit their request for borrower assistance by December 31, 2016, will be faced with foreclosure.

SD 16-03 provides the following modifications to the MHA handbook for winding down the program:
  • All borrower requests for assistance under MHA must be submitted by December 31, 2016;
  • On December 1, 2017, MHA Help and the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) Solution Center will no longer accept new cases, nor escalate cases to servicers;
  • All cases that have been escalated prior to December 1, 2017 must be resolved by May 1, 2018;
  • After December 30, 2016, servicers will no longer be required to assign relationship managers to borrowers;
  • Effective May 1, 2018, servicers will no longer be required to follow Section 3 of Chapter 1 of the MHA Handbook; however, the Treasury suggests that servicers continue to follow the best practices that have been established by MHA;
  • After September 1, 2016, servicers are no longer required to satisfy the Reasonable Effort standard set forth in Section 2.2.1 of Chapter II of the MHA handbook; and
  • Servicers will not be required to suspend a scheduled foreclosure sale if a borrower submits an Initial Package after December 30, 2016.
After continuously developing and expanding the MHA program over the last 7 years, it is surprising that Congress has refused to extend its life. Since 2009, the Treasury has issued 5 versions of its MHA handbook and has issued over 80 Supplemental Directives, including SD 16-03, refining the guidance it has provided to participating servicers. Congress’ decision to abandon the MHA program seems misguided because of the time and resources it has invested in the program. Most importantly, the termination of the program on December 31, 2016, leaves up to 6.5 million “at-risk” homeowners scrambling to submit requests for assistance or face the possibility of foreclosure.

Monday, July 13, 2015

HAMP Streamlined Modifications

The U.S. Treasury Department has issued Supplemental Directive 15-06 “Making Home Affordable Program – Streamlined Modification Process”.

This new program is akin to the Streamlined Modifications already offered on GSE Loans. GSE or “Government-sponsored enterprise”, are privately held corporations for a public purpose such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These GSEs have had in place streamline modifications that Loan Servicers are mandated to offer to eligible borrowers. One draw-back in any type of modification with a GSE Loan is the fact that principal reduction is not offered.

This new directive is for Non-GSE Loans and the Loan Servicers and Lenders such as Chase, Citibank, Carrington Mortgage, Nationstar Mortgage and so many others. The streamline modification provides a modification opportunity to delinquent borrowers of Non-GSE Loans without the need to submit any docs or for any income verification. In fact, once a Loan Servicer has designated its pool of eligible borrowers a Streamline HAMP Trial Period Plan Offer will be issued to the Borrower. The only thing for the Borrower to do is make the first payment to enter into the trial period. This will greatly improve the approval process for those Borrowers that are directly designated and free up resources for those borrowers that may not be eligible by lessening the modification approval time frame. The bonus is that in Non-GSE modifications, principal reduction can, and may be included in the modification.

Eligible Borrowers will only learn of this from their Loan Servicers directly by mail. Be sure to keep an eye on all mail received from your Loan Servicer to see if you are in luck. Regrettably, if a Borrower does not fit within the specific eligibility pool they will be out of luck for streamline modifications.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Making Home Affordable Program (MHA) has been formally extended 1 year

The Making Home Affordable Program (MHA), has been formally extended 1 year, through December 31, 2016, by Supplemental Directive 15-04. The program has been widely successful in providing affordable alternatives to foreclosure for millions of homeowners nationwide, and the extension through 2016 will provide relief to the millions more who will be in danger of falling behind on their mortgages in the next year.

This extension applies only to mortgages that are not owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and for applications that are submitted to the Lender on or before December 31, 2016. Though it is not necessary to have a decision on the application for a loan modification, short sale, or deed-in-lieu by the end of 2016 to be eligible under the MHA program, the transaction must close on or before September 30, 2017 if the borrower would like to receive incentive compensation, such as relocation assistance, payments for successfully completing a short sale or deed-in-lieu, or payments for making timely loan modification payments. Since the amount of relocation assistance that Lenders must offer has increased from $3,000 to $10,000 for all HAFA (short sales & deeds-in-lieu) transactions closing on or after February 1, 2015, borrowers must be mindful of the deadlines so that they may be eligible to receive this increased amount to assist them in moving costs.

This Directive also amends the MHA guidebook to allow servicers to establish a cap on the amount that they will pay to release the second mortgage liens, as long as the cap is not less than $12,000. It establishes a floor amount that borrowers may receive from their primary mortgage lenders to assist them in closing on their short sales or deeds-in-lieu.


These amendments ensure that borrowers will continue to have access to adequate relief through the MHA program.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Short Sales Incentivized

On October 30, 2014, Supplemental Directive 14-04 was issued by Treasury.

2 major changes for those considering a short sale or deed-in-lieu are offered by this Directive.

FIRST - Relocation assistance available to the property owner, who occupies the property as a principal residence and is required to vacate as a condition of the short sale or deed-in-lieu, will be eligible for $10,000 as opposed to $3,000 for transactions that close on or after February 1, 2015.

SECOND - Perhaps most importantly, for transactions closing on or after February 1, 2015, the gross sales proceeds that may be paid to a subordinate mortgage lien holder (e.g. 2nd mortgage) used to be capped at $8,500, but now there is no cap requirement. Instead, servicers can create their own cap provided its not less than $12,000.

To explain the second change above, a first mortgagee may approve a short sale, but the second mortgagee may deny it because there is no fair market value to support a payment to the mortgagee (i.e. the house is underwater as to the second mortgage). This change permits the first mortgagee to pay the second mortgagee (out of their monies from the short sale) to approve the short sale and extends what was a cap of $8,500 in payment to a minimum new cap of $12,000 and potentially no cap at all.

Many deals die because of the second lienholder - this Supplemental Directive should save a lot of deals.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

New Amendment Allows For Borrowers to Re-Modify Loans That Have Already Received a HAMP Modification If They Experience a New Hardship

Great news for those struggling with their mortgage after previously receiving a modification! Now, you can re-modify your mortgage due to recent amendments to the Making Homes Affordable (MHA) Handbook. On September 30th, Treasury released Supplemental Directive 14-03, which provides new guidelines, updates and clarifications that servicers must follow.

To better understand these new amendments, previously, a servicer could not re-modify a loan that received a HAMP permanent modification until either the loan lost good standing or more than 5 years had passed since the permanent modification effective date.

Now, the new rule permits a loan that was previously permanently modified under HAMP to be re-modified regardless of loss of good standing so long as, either, the borrower has experienced a change in circumstance, or at least 12 months have passed since the HAMP Modification Effective Date. This amendment will allow for borrowers to re-modify loans that have already received a HAMP permanent modification if they experience a new hardship or if one year has passed.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Guidelines Shifting for the Federal Loan Modification Program

Updates to the Making Home Affordable Handbook for the federal Home Affordable Modification Program are available here and will be effective July 1, 2014!

Top things you need to know about HAMP:
  1. The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is a federal program designed to help homeowners obtain affordable loan modifications.
  2. HAMP Tier 1 only applies to loans of principal residences.
  3. A HAMP Tier 1 mortgage payment must reflect 31% of the homeowner's gross monthly income.
  4. HAMP Tier 2 may apply to loans of principal residences or to loans of rental properties.
  5. A HAMP Tier 2 mortgage payment must be within the range of 25% to 42% of the homeowner's gross monthly income.
  6. A HAMP Tier 2 mortgage payment must represent a reduction of at least 10% of the original mortgage payment amount. 
However, Supplemental Directive 14-02 to the Making Home Affordable Handbook is drastically changing the requirements under HAMP Tier 2 to make it easier than ever to get a loan modification on a non-GSE rental property!

In Section 6.3.3 of Chapter II of the MHA Handbook, the post-modification principal and interest payment under HAMP Tier 2 must be at least ten percent less than the pre-modification principal and interest payment. To clarify, if the original monthly principal and interest mortgage payment is $3,000, then the modified monthly principal and interest mortgage payment under HAMP Tier 2 must be $2,700 or less according to the ten percent reduction rule. Under this Supplemental Directive, however, this required percentage is totally erased. Now, it is only required that the post-modification principal and interest payment be less than the pre-modification principal and interest payment, thus expanding the amount of homeowners eligible for HAMP Tier 2. In the past, many homeowners were ineligible because servicers could not reduce the principal and interest amount by the required percentage due to the default amount, monthly real estate taxes, property value, and other similar factors. Without a required percentage, servicers will have a much easier time reducing the post-modification principal and interest payment for more homeowners across the country.

However, it should be noted that servicers may require a minimum reduction as long as that reduction is not greater than ten percent. Servicers must include this minimum reduction in their written policy if they choose to do so.

Another important clarification is the modification of loans prior to the loss of good standing. If a homeowner would like to modify an already HAMP-Tier 1-modified loan and is not in default on that loan, he or she may be eligible for HAMP Tier 2 if it has been more than five years since the HAMP Tier 1 modification. Once a homeowner accepts a HAMP Tier 1 loan modification, he or she cannot obtain another one in the future if that loan goes into default again. HAMP Tier 2, however, would still be available to this homeowner as a loan modification option (even if the property is a primary residence) as long as it has been more than five years since the original HAMP Tier 1 modification date. Since the Home Affordable Modification Program is the federal program to help homeowners cure their default, it always has priority over Lender in-house modifications.

Also included in this Supplemental Directive are updated guidelines regarding post-modification counseling, assistance for homeowners with limited English proficiency, and notice of interest rate step-ups. Although these guidelines are important as well, it is crucial that real estate agents focus on the new HAMP Tier 2 guidelines, especially if their clients own rental properties that are in risk of default or are currently in default. The more knowledgeable you are able these guidelines, the more your clients will trust you in other aspects of real estate.

Again, these updated guidelines will be effective July 1, 2014, and it is important that you understand and prepare for these changes.