Government Mortgage Help Programs

Learn about the various government mortgage assistance programs for existing homeowners and home buyers.

 

A List of Governmet Mortgage Help Programs

There are many U.S. government mortgage help programs to assist borrowers and homeowners in obtaining an affordable home loan. If you are searching for assistance, it is important that you understand the different programs and qualifying factors to see if your are in fact eligible to receive the help you need.

The two types of assistance the government offers are either for existing homeowners who need help with their current mortgage and for first time home buyers to help them purchase their primary home. The goal of these programs is to assist consumers with an affordable monthly mortgage payment and or an affordable down payment to buy a home.

We have created another great page for home buyer programs that are available throughout the United States that you can find at this link.  On this page, you will discover if your state and or county provides free assistance to help you purchase a home. You can also search for home buyer mortgages such as FHA and VA loans at this link.

This page primarily covers current government programs to help existing homeowners avoid foreclosure such as loan modifications and short sales, and also programs to help minimize the damage associated with a foreclosure. Below you will find a list of the various current mortgage programs and a description of what they do.

Making Home Affordable Program

The Making Home Affordable Program has also put into place important protections for homeowners that have helped inform efforts to create standards for the mortgage servicing industry. The Making Home Affordable Program includes the Home Affordable Modification Program or HAMP, which modifies the terms of a homeowner’s mortgage to reduce their monthly payment to prevent foreclosure. This includes requirements for mortgage servicers regarding clear and timely communications with homeowners and protections to ensure that homeowners are evaluated for assistance before being referred to foreclosure.

HAMP Program

HAMP stands for Home Affordable Modifications Program. It was made to aid homeowners in getting a modification to lower their monthly mortgage payments. The requirements of this program are pretty basic. To qualify for HAMP, you must be the owner of the one to four unit home you occupy, have a monthly mortgage payment that’s hard for you to keep up with because of a financial hardship, and have an unpaid principal balance that is equal to or less than these values:

* 1 Unit: $729,750
* 2 Units: $934,200
* 3 Units: $1,129,250
* 4 Units: $1,403,400

The other requirements are that you must have a mortgage loan that was originated on or before the date of January 1, 2009, and you must have a monthly mortgage payment greater than 31% of your gross monthly income.

To find our more information about HAMP, please visit this link.

HAFA

This program is called the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program, and is meant for homeowners who can still no longer afford to keep their home after trying all other alternatives, but really do not want to be hurt by the full wrath of foreclosure. In other words, it offers homeowners alternatives to a foreclosure.

The most common alternatives to foreclosure are short sales, and a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. Under these alternatives, a former homeowner’s credit score will not be hit as bad as it would be through a foreclosure or bankruptcy and they’ll have more alternatives of what to do once they leave their former home.

The HAFA program is available to people who did not qualify for a trial by HAMP, did not successfully complete their trial period for their modification, or missed 2 payments during their modification period. The individual also must have requested a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.

More information on the HAFA program can be found at this link.

HARP

HARP stands for Home Affordable Refinance Program. This program is meant for current homeowners who cannot do a traditional refinance because the value of their home has decreased. This program is a chance for homeowners to take advantage of today’s lower rates by refinancing their mortgage.

The requirements for this program are: you must be the owner of the one to four unit home you live in, your mortgage loan must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, The amount you owe on your first lien mortgage does not exceed 125% of the current market value of your property, you must be current on your payments, The refinance improves the long term affordability or stability of your loan and you have the income to pay your new mortgage payments.

It’s important to understand this program will not reduce the amount you owe on your loan. The point of the program is to reduce your monthly mortgage payments to an affordable amount you can afford to pay.

RESOURCE LINKS:

Additional information on Making Home Affordable programs can be found at this link:

http://makinghomeaffordable.gov/borrower-faqs.html#57

Additional information and answers can be found about all the above programs at this link:

http://makinghomeaffordable.gov/borrower-faqs.html#18

To find out if your servicer is participating in any of the above programs, use these links below to do a check to make sure your servicer is participating in the programs.

Fannie Mae lookup

http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup/

Freddie Mac lookup

http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup/