Legal Analysts

Thursday, July 03, 2014

The Home Affordable Modification Program has been Extended

If you are a struggling homeowner and have defaulted or are at risk of default on your mortgage loan, an application for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) may be your best chance of obtaining an affordable loan modification.

Previously set to expire in December 2015, the Home Affordable Modification Program has recently been extended by the Obama Administration through December 2016. This federal loan modification program has been successful in providing reductions in monthly mortgage payments for millions of homeowners nationwide. Unlike Lender-based modifications, this program has two tiers, one of which requires a debt-to-income of 31% in its modification terms and another which requires a 10% reduction in monthly mortgage payments. If a homeowner is not eligible for Tier 1, then he or she will be reviewed for Tier 2, thus giving homeowners two chances to obtain lower, affordable monthly mortgage payments in their application for HAMP.

Oftentimes, Lenders that have their own loan modifications will only add the arrears to the principal balance without changing any other terms of the loan, thus creating monthly mortgage payments that are, in fact, higher than the original payments. Struggling homeowners often cannot accept a modification with higher payments because their hardships are long term or even permanent.

HAMP, however, requires affordable mortgage payments as part of its program and now will continue through the remaining term of the Obama Administration.