Making Home Affordable (MHA) is an important part of the comprehensive plan to stabilize the U.S. housing market by helping homeowners get mortgage relief and avoid foreclosure. To meet the various needs of homeowners across the country, Making Home Affordable programs offer a range of solutions that may be able to help you take action before it’s too late.
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Options available to you:
- Depending on the situation, homeowners can lower their monthly mortgage payments.
- If homeownership is no longer affordable or desirable, there is a program that can provide a way out, avoiding foreclosure.
- There are also options for unemployed homeowners and homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth.
MHA has a variety of programs that may help homeowners having difficulty making mortgage payments:
- Lower Monthly Payments – Lower your mortgage payments with an MHA loan modification.
- Lower Interest Rates – Take advantage of today’s historically low mortgage interest rates through MHA ® refinance programs that help you get into more affordable and more stable fixed-rate mortgages.
- If You Are Unemployed – Get the financial relief you need, even if you are unemployed.
- If You Have a Second Mortgage – Learn about an MHA program designed for those with a home equity loan, HELOC, or other second lien that makes it difficult to keep up with mortgage payments.
- If Your Home’s Value Has Fallen – Find out what to do if the value of your home has fallen below what you owe on it, through an MHA program that specifically address this issue.
- Leave Your Home & Avoid Foreclosure – If homeownership is no longer affordable or desirable, you may be able to transition out of your home and avoid foreclosure through an MHA program that also provides $3,000 in relocation assistance.
- Military Resources – Under recently announced changes to HAMP, military homeowners and other families who are permanently displaced by a job-related move may still qualify as owner-occupants, which means you may still be eligible for a mortgage modification.
Overview of all programs available: Take a quick look at all of the MHA programs and see which one might be right for you.
Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)
If you are not unemployed, but you’re still struggling to make your mortgage payments, you may be eligible for the Home Affordable Modification Program. HAMP may lower your monthly mortgage payments in order to make them more affordable and sustainable for the long-term. If you currently occupy your home as your primary residence, we encourage you to contact your mortgage servicer as soon as possible to begin the HAMP evaluation process.
Homeowners that may be eligible for the Home Affordable Modification Program to include:
- Homeowners who are applying for a modification on a home that is not their primary residence, but the property is currently rented or the homeowner intends to rent it.
- Homeowners who previously did not qualify for HAMP because their debt-to-income ratio was 31% or lower.
- Homeowners who previously received a HAMP trial period plan, but defaulted in their trial payments.
- Homeowners who previously received a HAMP permanent modification, but defaulted in their payments, therefore losing good standing.
- If you are a homeowner who falls into any of these criteria, you may be eligible for a modification under the expanded criteria. Please check with your mortgage servicer to see if you are eligible to begin the HAMP evaluation process.
To apply for HAMP, you need to complete and provide the following to your HAMP participating mortgage servicer:
- Request for Mortgage Assistance Form (.pdf file)
- IRS Form 4506T-EZ (.pdf file) or 4506-T (.pdf file)
- Verification of Income
If you qualify for HAMP and also have a second mortgage, you may also qualify for the Second Lien Modification Program (2MP)
The Second Lien Modification Program (2MP)
Offers homeowners a way to modify their second mortgages to make them more affordable when their first mortgage is modified under the Home Affordable Modification Program.
Many homeowners may be struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments because they have a second lien. Even when a first mortgage payment is affordable, the addition of a second lien can sometimes increase monthly payments beyond affordable levels. Second liens often complicate or prevent modification or refinancing of a first mortgage.
If your first mortgage was permanently modified under HAMPSM and you have a second mortgage on the same property, you may be eligible for a modification or principal reduction on your second mortgage as well, through MHA’s Second Lien Modification Program (2MP). 2MP works in tandem with HAMP to provide comprehensive solutions for homeowners with second mortgages to increase long-term affordability and sustainability. If the servicer of your second mortgage is participating, they can evaluate you for a second lien modification.
You may be eligible for 2MP if you meet all of the following criteria:
- Your first mortgage was modified under HAMP.
- You must not have been convicted within the last 10 years of felony larceny, theft, fraud or forgery, money laundering or tax evasion, in connection with a mortgage or real estate transaction.
- You have not missed three consecutive monthly payments on your HAMP modification.
If you have additional questions about getting mortgage help, contact one of our housing experts at 888-995-HOPE (4673). These HUD-approved housing counselors will help you understand your options, design a plan to suit your individual situation, and prepare your application.
The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)
If you’re not behind on your mortgage payments but have been unable to get traditional refinancing because the value of your home has declined, you may be eligible to refinance through MHA’s Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). HARP is designed to help you get a new, more affordable, more stable mortgage. HARP refinance loans require a loan application and underwriting process, and refinance fees will apply.
You may be eligible for HARP if you meet all of the following criteria:
- The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
- The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
- The mortgage cannot have been refinanced under HARP previously unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March-May, 2009.
- The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%.
- The borrower must be current on the mortgage at the time of the refinance, with a good payment history in the past 12 months.
If you have additional questions about getting mortgage help, contact one of our housing experts at 888-995-HOPE (4673). These HUD-approved housing counselors will help you understand your options, design a plan to suit your individual situation and prepare your application.
The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) Program
Provides opportunities for homeowners who can no longer afford to stay in their home but want to avoid foreclosure to transition to more affordable housing through a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.
Many homeowners may feel that they can no longer afford their home, but want to avoid the negative effects of foreclosure. The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) Program offers homeowners, their mortgage servicers, and investors an incentive for completing a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. With these options, under HAFA, a homeowner leaves their home to transition to more affordable housing and alleviate the mortgage debt they owe.
HAFA provides two options for transitioning out of your mortgage: a short sale or a Deed-in-Lieu (DIL) of foreclosure. In a short sale, the mortgage company lets you sell your house for an amount that falls “short” of the amount you still owe. In a DIL, the mortgage company lets you give the title back, transferring ownership back to them.
In either case, HAFA offers benefits that make the transition as favorable as possible:
- You can get free advice from HUD-approved housing counselors and licensed real estate professionals.
- Unlike conventional short sales, a HAFA short sale completely releases you from your mortgage debt after selling the property. This means you will no longer be responsible for the amount that falls “short” of the amount you still owe. The deficiency is guaranteed to be waived by the servicer.
- In a HAFA short sale, your mortgage company works with you to determine an acceptable sale price.
- HAFA has a less negative effect on your credit score than foreclosure or conventional short sales.
- When you close, HAFA may provide $3,000 in relocation assistance.
You may be eligible for HAFA if you meet all of the following criteria:
- You have a documented financial hardship.
- You have not purchased a new house within the last 12 months.
- Your first mortgage is less than $729,750.
- You obtained your mortgage on or before January 1, 2009.
- You must not have been convicted within the last 10 years of felony larceny, theft, fraud, forgery, money laundering or tax evasion in connection with a mortgage or real estate transaction.
When it’s time for HAFA, be prepared to provide the following: Request for Mortgage Assistance (RMA) (.pdf file).
If you have additional questions about getting mortgage help, contact one of our housing experts at 888-995-HOPE (4673).