Making Home Affordable Refinance And Loan Modification Program – Do I Qualify?

by Mike Holman

Due to high rates of house foreclosures that are happening in most parts of the country – President Obama has announced a new initiative called the Making Home Affordable Refinance And Loan Modification Program which is basically a homeowner stimulus package.  This plan is designed to help homeowners who are having tough financial problems to keep their homes and avoid foreclosure.

What is the Making Home Affordable Refinance and Loan Modification Plan?

It is a financial plan sponsored by the government to help millions of Americans to refinance their home mortgage in order to avoid foreclosure and losing their homes.  It is primarily to help the following people:

  • Homeowners who are current in their mortgage payments but can’t refinance their mortgage because of lower house value.
  • Workers who have been laid off or reduced hours and are having a hard time making mortgage payments.

I’m current on my mortgage – will I qualify for refinance?

If you are a responsible homeowner that is:

  • Current on your mortgage payments.
  • Mortgage is more than 80% of the house value but less than 105% of the house value.  [edit July 20, 2009 - check out the new LTV criteria for the making home affordable program.]
  • Conforming loan with Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
  • Can’t refinance to take advantage of lower rates.
  • Sufficient income to make new lower mortgage payments.

This plan will allow you to refinance your mortgage into a 15 year or 30 year fixed mortgage at a lower interest rate to make the monthly payments more affordable.  The purpose of refinancing the mortgage is to lower the monthly payments.  This can also applies if you have second mortgage on the house.

My mortgage payment keeps rising and I can’t afford it anymore!

The stability aspect to this plan will help homeowners who are facing rising mortgage payments due to resetting rates to keep their homes.  If you are homeowner who is current on their mortgage but about to default on the payments then the following might apply:

  • Reduced monthly mortgage payments.
  • The monthly payments will be lowered so they are no more than 31% of income.
  • This reduction will apply for 5 years after which the rates will gradually return to the original level.
  • Up to $1,000 per year for 5 years in loan reduction paid for by the government if the mortgage stays current.

When does the refinance plan start?

The homeowner plan starts on March 4, 2009 when the final details will be released.  Mortgage lenders will be contacting eligible homeowners after this time.  Please contact your mortgage provider if you have any inquiries.

What paperwork do I need?

  • Income documentation – pay stubs or other proof of income.
  • Most recent tax return.
  • Payment amounts for any outstanding credit card balances.
  • Payment amounts on any other loans you have such as car loans, student loans, personal loans.
  • If there is a second mortage then you need to provide information on that.

Top 5 foreclosure states in January, 2009

  1. Nevada  1 in 76
  2. California 1 in 173
  3. Arizona 1 in 182
  4. Florida 1 in 214
  5. Oregon 1 in 357

Other info

$8,000 first time home buyer credit extended.

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bruce Wynn

If you can offer any advice or direction, I am a struggling homeowner who does not live in the house I would like to refinance. It is a Freddie Mac loan, and I moved temporarily (4 years ago) in with my ailing mother to take care of her while she recovered from cancer surgery, and subsequently had more surgeries. For nearly two years the house sat empty (as I plan to return when she is stronger) and finally I allowed a friend to occupy the house. He helps out with minimal rent, but utilities are still in my name, as well as the homestead exemption. Can I still qualify or am I considered a “speculator”? This is the only home I own, and I will return when circumstances allow. Thank you.

2 Four Pillars

Bruce – I don’t know if your situation will affect your qualification for this program. I would try to get in touch with your mortgage lender – they are the ones who would do the refinancing so they will have a better idea if you qualify.

3 wayne

i have not signed my refinance but i will next week, should i wait until this stimlus package starts on march 4 , i might be able to get a better deal, i am unemployment right now and can use help paying my note , what do u think????

4 Four Pillars

Wayne – the program is intended to help home owners who can’t refinance – since you’ve already gotten a refinance approved that implies that you won’t qualify for the program.

That said, I would get in contact with your mortgage lender – they will get extra fees if you qualify for the program so they should help you determine if you qualify or not.

5 Susan

We have a home in CA when we had it appraised 3 or4 years ago it appraised at 225000. we owe about 193000. now the houses around here are only selling for about 125000. we also have alot of other debt, would this stimulus help us or we doomed. We are current on the payments but we have one of the interest only loans and the principal goes up every month

6 Susan

We have a home in CA when we had it appraised 3 or4 years ago it appraised at 225000. we owe about 193000. now the houses around here are only selling for about 125000. we also have alot of other debt, would this stimulus help us or we doomed. We are current on the payments but we have one of the interest only loans and the principal goes up every month Susan

7 Four Pillars

Susan – if your mortgage is over 105% of the appraised value of the house then you won’t qualify.

As for being doomed – it’s possible, but the question is can you make all the various debt payments you have.

8 Ann

If I am current on my 1st and 2nd mortgages but last year claimed bankruptcy due to cc dept, am I still eligible?

9 Gutz

We got a loan modification finalized early last year, we try our best to pay the mortgage, we originally bought for $740K, it’ s avalue has now dropped signigficantly. This is a rental property and renter is also struggling. And with the property tax too high, it is a struggle to make the tax payment. Am I qualified for this stability plan? The ultimate goal is to lower the rent we charge just so we can keep our renter. The only we can do that is if we have a lower mortgage. Help!

10 kathleen

I live in Colorado, I am 55 yrs old. I am on disability. I am 2 months behind on my mortgage payments. is there any help for me?

11 Ron

We qualified for a loan modification 5 months ago with countrywide, however the modification only dropped our payment $100 which is not enough right now. If we already qualified for this, does it hurt us to try to take part of a better package. Currently we are sill late.

12 Kara

Currently my mortgage is through Bank of America. Am I eligible or does my mortgage need to be through Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac? I have been making my payments on time but I’m starting to struggle through it. I haven’t been able to refinance because the value of my home has dropped. My current LTV ratio is 94%. What do I need to do? If I am eligible is there any assistance with closing costs? Will there be points associated with this too? HELP! Thank you!

13 Shah

I have good credit and I originally bought my home with a 30 year mortgage with 20% down. When rates dipped below 5% last month, I wanted to refinance, but my current home value fell so I no longer had the 20% equity. I have been following the program, so I thought I would quailify for a refinance under the new plan. When I call a lender, they seem to be unaware of this program, and keep telling me that I need to either pay mortgage insurance, including my lender. I wonder when this news will spread to the industry?

14 Tonja

I own a house with two other people who have both filed (and received) bankrupsy. The house will now go to forclosure against me (payments stopped being paid due to the bankrupsy). I am trying to avoid filing bankrupsy and would like to refinance the house now that the other two owners have no claim due to bankrupsy. Do I qualify to refinance at the current value of the house? Is there a part of the stimulus plan that applies to homeowners whose homes are already in foreclosure.
Thank you!

15 Robin

Until the last year we have had good credit, our house had gotten behind in payments as well as some other bills so our credit scores have dropped consideribly. Our house is worth a little more than what we owe what are the credit score guidelines on the refinance? We origanlly got our loan by using stated income is that still possible. I don’t want to lose my house. I think right now we are just 1 payment behind.

16 ronnie

can you apply for a second modification with your loan company

17 Eric

I have never missed or been late on a mortgage, or any payment for that matter. We bought the house about 3 years agoa nd got a 30 year fixed rate of 6.375. At the time we had instant equity but now the house is worth roughly what we owe on it. Because of this I have not been able to refinance because we don’t have at least 10% equity in the home. Will we qualify under this plan or because the mortgage is not greater than 31% of our monthly income would we not?

18 Sarah

I am current on my mortgage, but I have a 20/80 mortgage that is increasing again for the fourth time in June. My husband is 100% disabled and I am the pillar for my family. I retired from the military, but had to continue to work because of his income. I really need a modification (which I tried once with ASC) or to refinance for a fixed instead of adjustable rate. Will this plan help me in any way. I think ASC falls under Wells Fargo. The first mortgage is 8.75% and the second is 11%. I know after a couple more increases I will loose our home and my 15 year old needs a home. Help

19 Julie

My husband and I are both disabled. We refinanced with debt consolidation in September 2008. The interest is the same as before, but the mortgage payment has increased. We did this refinance because I was waiting for my disability to be approved & the credit card debt was killing us. Our Mortgage payment is higher than 38% of our income. Do we qualify for the stimulus help?

20 Sheila

I am a homeowner and I know I’m solid on 4 of the 5 points for the refinancing program, but I have what’s called a “conventional” mortgage (in my closing paperwork). Does that disqualify me??

Thank you for helping with the terminology.
Sheila

21 Daryl

We bought our home in March 2008 and we have a 6.125% 30 year fixed loan. The house is valued at $206,000 and we owe 200,600. We have been current on all our payments. Are we eligible to refianance under the new plan?

22 Tricia

I have heard that the plan has been changed to include investment home ownership. We already have refinanced our primary home without the plan, but would like to refinance our 2 investment properties that fall under the guidelines of the Refinance plan. Is this rumour true??

23 Sarah DuBerry

Hello Everyone,

I received foreclosure paperwork today from Countrywide Home Loans; and I need to refinance this mortgage because it’s stated that it is adjustable mortgage @ 702.00 per month. The interest rate has already adjusted to 10.22% interest rate, and I have spoken with Foreclosure attorney and have forward her the information showing that I have sent all the documentation on this. I want to stop the foreclosure, and I do believe they are predatory lending agency, and now stated they will flip the loan to Bank of America in the midst of the foreclosure.

I believe I do qualify for the homeowner stimulus package. I know that we are going to I should qualify for President Obama package. This kind of action has to stop against homeowner. The president has to be notified that every home should be placed on alert of flipping mortgage before the paper trail is completed, causes lapse in the paperwork or processing documentation in the county courthouse.

What should happen that President Obama should employ us to help the people to clear up the paperwork, trail, and notes. I understand upon being laid off; that I submitted 7 payments at one time, and they still suggested that I am late, I have been in this home since 1989; and thought we had all this completed, and AIG should return the monies to paid toward the people that trying to get a job, and trying to keep their homes, and it totally ashame that people are losing their homes in USA with no hopes.

Have a wonderful day.

24 Mike

I spoke with my mortgage company (Citimortgage) since i would fall into Obama’s plan. I spoke with a lady at Citimortgage and she told me they have no idea when they (citi) can begin helping their customers!?? Can this be true?? I’m suspious if this was just more BS from the large companies who are trying to either confuse and/or delay helping their customers, for their own benefit of course. With everything which has happened in Washington to protect the big companies (thanks to both dems & reps) i trust nothing they tell me as fact. My new goal: stay in my property as long as i can without paying them if they don’t work with me–if they don’t help me they can spend a year in court fighting my attorneys—while i live rent free. F-them, it’s time for the consumers to turn the tables on the big companies who have taken advantage of us for the last 30 years!!!!!!!!!

25 Tina

Hi – I meet all the qualifications to be able to refinance (haven’t missed payments, can’t refinance because value of house has fallen, have a mortgage value between 80 and 105% of assessed value).

However, my current loan isn’t owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Do I qualifie for the relief refinancing?

26 Ana

Hi, I stopped making payments to my lender in January 2009. My house has devaluated from $300K to $200K and keeps on going down. I feel I can’t pay anymore because I work very hard only to pay my mortgage and my credit card balance keeps on growing. My family and I no longer have a life!
I feel that I’m never going to get some equity out of the house to buy a new one, a bigger one. We are 5 and live in a very small house. This was suppose to be our “starters” home. Our economic situation hasn’t changed, fortunately, but I feel I can’t pay anymore.
Thanks

27 Maryland

I have a son who has worked since he was 15 years of age. He never misses work and his boss has kept him working for 20- some years. Now he is laid off because nobody has any work. I never thought he would ever be out of work. He needs a loan for his home which is a modular on acreage. He can’t afford the payments right now but has equity in this property. What can he do? He has always paid his bills.

28 had enough

I know a couple that are 4 house payments behind not because of finacial difficulties due to reduction of work hours or being laid off. I have known them for years. On average of 6-7 nights per week they go out on the town and party it up. They eat every meal out and party and drink almost every night.
I found out today they have used our tax dollars under the “AKA REFINANCE PLAN” to reduce their interest rate to 3%, the government has waived the 4 house payments their behind on, and reduced their payment from $1200 dollars a month to $600 dollars. I’m fed up!!!
I called to refinace last week and to go from 5.75% to a 4.375% rate would cost me $5100 to refi. and I have a 780 credit score!!
MR. OBAMA enough is enough!! I understand that their are people who need help and then their are others that take advantage and use the system.
This same couple had already planned on vactioning next month to Florida for a week that would cost at least $1000. By the way this would have put them 5 months behind on their mortgage payment!
AMERICA, BEFORE THIS PROGRAM IS USED TO HELP PEOPLE, USE SOME SENSE AND INVESTIGATE EACH PERSON BEFORE GIVING MY HARD EARNED TAX DOLLARS AWAY.

From: HAD ENOUGH
ps Please email me if you agree.

29 Gilda Gonzales

Where can I find an application to take advantage of this offer?

30 dont understand!

I contacted WELLS FARGO MORTGAGE and they informed me they cannot refinance me because my house is undervalued! unless I wanted to come up with closing costs of 4k then they would consider???? If I had 4k why would I need to refinance! HELP, WHERE IS OUR PRESIDENT!!!

31 Frustrated HomeOwner

Can anyone tell me how to take advantage of the stimulus package without paying a large retainer fee for an attorney? I am currently working with my current mortgage holder for a temporary loan modification, but they are rewriting loans so it is just a bandaid. Is there any way to apply for this yourself without using an attorney?

I must be missing something. The plan can’t be to help us by making us shell out close to 4K, and that is without any guarantees of success!

32 Frustrated HomeOwner

they AREN’T rewriting. Sorry for the typo.

33 Alena

My mom bought a home about 4 years ago, i was translating for her but did not understand much because i was only about 15 years old. Come to find out we have a balloon balance and an adjustable rate, and 2 loans for one house, Acoustic Home Loans did not even do a property appraisal. I have been to many banks, lenders, and brokers, and none of them can help my mom refinance the house due to her income. She works part time and is very ill. My father is helping us make the home payment but still not enough income to refinance, and dept to rate income. The lenders and brokers and banks that do FHA loans and VHDA loans are basically telling us good luck there is nothing we can do.. And I ask them all what about all this stuff like Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan (AKA The Refinance Plan) they tell me that still there is no hope. I even called FHA and HUD myself and tried to talk to them about our problem we are facing and they told me they WILL NOT HELP unless my mom misses more than 3 payments. And both of the home loan company we have do not refinance due to the economy . What do we do now? who do we turn to for help? Why are companies like Willsfargo and VBS Mortgage and Wilshire Credit Corp and Franklin Home Loans, DuPont Community and others that are refusing to help families like that are in need for help?

34 Marcie

I have my loan with Countrywide, when I got the loan for $400,00 in mid-2006, the house had appraised at $500,000. Now, less than three years later zillow.com says it’s approx. $292,000. I called Countrywide March 11, 2009 and was advised to compile a hardship letter as well as several income documents. I sent a 58 page file to them documenting a drop in joint income from $117,000 per year to a single income of $58,000 per year as well as the loss of $6000 per year in child support. I was told to allow 30 days after I faxed it on March 12, 2009, I called March 18 to make they got the file and I was advised that they did and to call back after the first of April. Wanting to accommodate them (what was I thinking?!?!?), I waited the 30 days to start calling. After two days spent trying to get through, I finally spoke to a lady today who said that the agent I spoke to March 11th didn’t pre-qualify me and that my file was just languishing there. She asked me some perfunctory questions and after an hour of that she said there is nothing that they can offer me. She didn’t say why, I meet all of the eligibility requirements, just that they can’t help me. I’ve demonstrated a loss of over 50% off my income, huge debts to pay, I currently have NO late pays on ANYTHING, but I don’t know how much longer I can keep that up. I’m ready to just walk away from it while I have good enough credit still to rent a place and just let the house go. Most of my debt is due to repairs to keep the dump from falling down, not 1 penny has ever been able to be spared for cosmetic work. I just figure it’s better to have 1 negative on my credit than 5 credit cards and eventually, inevitably default on the home anyway.

35 Diane Strunk

We purchased our home in August of 2008.We have a Fannie Mae mortgage and are refinancing through the same back as our original loan.

It is going to cost us over $5,000 in closing costs. Since we have only been in the house for 7 1/2 months, why do we have to again pay for title insurance, hazard insurance and other fees?

36 R. Hubbard

I have been approved for refinancing. The apprasial came in lowerer than the 80% needed to stop paying PMI. Is there something in the stimulas package to help me? The only way my payment will go down is if no PMI insurance is needed. My mortgage broker says he has heard of something called Except Plus. I am trying to lower payment only as no money is coming out of loan. The costs of refinancing is going back into the loan.

37 California

If you think Obama is going to save every one you are sadly mistaken. Wall street has hijacked Washington in broad daylight. These sour mortgages were created by the banks and government. Wake up people 9.7 Trillion dollars is missing from the US Treasury. Soon the market will recover to 1998 – 2001 values then they will tumble again. Not to mention that if they print the 14 Trillion dollars it will take to make this plan happen, a loaf of bread will cost 30 dollars. Wake up folks, read your documents before you sign. Don’t refinance for a new SUV that you are now stuck with and cried when fuel was 3 bucks a gallon. When you purchased a 1400 SQFT home for 399K did you really think it was worth it or was the Fed lining you folks up like sheep to dump the market?

The reason why we are in this mess is because the private banks control our money i.e. the FEDERAL RESERVE is a private bank. They are not a government institution. Until we take our currency out of the hands of private banks we will see this same thing happen time and time again. Do some research before you sign your life away, I am in the mortgage industry and there was a long loud warning that home prices were artifically inflated.

WAKE UP AMERICA STOP WHINING AND TAKE ACTION BEFORE OUR CHILDREN ARE ALL HOMELESS ON THE LAND THAT OUR FORE FATHERS CONCQURED. OBAMA IS NOT OUR SAVIOR HE IS THE PUPPET OF THE FED JUST LIKE EVERY PRESIDENT AFTER JFK.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw

38 angela

I recently in the last 2 weeks attempted to refinance but was unable to because the value of my house dropped $25,000 in the last year. My loan is backed by Fannie Mae and I am up to date on my mortgage payments. I have a home equity loan tied to the home as well. If we ow $135,000 on the first and $38,000 on the home equity loan and the house appraised at $173,000 (last week), is this plan one that will work in our favor.

39 maria dela merced

due to disability and divorce i had to refinance my house,part of the money went to my husbands settlement.at that time my house was appraised at 950k and my loan was 780k interest only and my monthly payment is around 4300k. i have been unemployed since and barely making it.for 1 year i rented rooms in my house but now that im living in it by myself and have no other source of income except pension and social security can i avail of this package. i tried to have it refinanced for a lower interest but since i was not working i could not get it approved.

40 topaz

Would anyone know if I would qualify for the home loan modification program since I am currently collecting unemployment insurance?

41 hardy

We qualify on all guideline provisions for a loan modification except the date of the loan origination is 02/09 and not 01/01/09. Can the loan servicer (B of A) make exceptions?
Thank you very much

42 angi

I did a loan modification with Bank of America on Feb/2009, and now I am current on my mortgage, but still is hard for me to pay my mortgage payment. i just wondering if I can do a loan modification with bank of America for the second time in a year.
I’ll appreciate for your help

43 Mary

I am two payment behind on my loan, due to a loss of employement. My financial situation is now under control and I would like to refinance, is there going to be a lender out there that I can refinance with or should I try for a loan modification with my mortgage company? I have about 90,000 equity in the house, I would just want to borrow $10,000 to get back on my feet.

Thanks for your help.

44 Tee

I’m in a fix as well. I’m a divorced mother to two and I’m behind on my mortgage now 3 months and tried to get assistance through my mortgage holder. I inquired about the homeowners stimulus assistance programs and was told that it only applied to Freddie Mac or Sallie Mae not FHA loans. I was out of work for 6 months and have a part-time job now. What can I do? My home fortunately is worth $150,000 and I owe $120,000. I either want to refinance or borrow enough to bring my mortgage up to date. Because of my unemployment status and inability to keep up with anything other than my basic necessities, my credit rating plummeted. Am I just going to become another statistic or what if anything that can be done to help people in my situation? I’ve been in my home for 6 1/2 years and weant to keep it. Thank you

45 im lost

OK so im young and starting to struggle, ive used all my rescources; mortgage mod (which didnt help any), cut out all my unnessacery bills, work as much as i can and am really starting to get behind. as of dec 2009 im current on all my bills and mortgage but this may be the last month, im engaged and am expecting my third son by christmas, this is a plee for help, i dont even know where to begin and finding help is definetly not as easy as it should be. any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

46 Kara

Are there any refinance programs for unemployed people who are up to date on their mortgages, and want to get their rate reduced? I would think that there should be something to help people who haven’t defaulted on their mortgages, but have lost their jobs. Most lenders will not refinance these loans. If the payments are lower, people would be more able keep them current.
I have an FHA loan and was already denied by an FHA lender. It is a first mortgage, and there is equity in the home.

47 Ed

An Emergency Mortgage Assistance plan (HEMA), to DIRECTLY help Unemployed homeowners avoid foreclosure, is now one step closer to being passed by Congress!
—————————————————

http://www.dsnews.com/articles/congressman-fattah-wins-house-approval-for-emergency-mortgage-relief-plan-2009-12-14

48 Jennifer Millan

I haved owned my home since 1986 in Carpinteria, Ca. I have recently become disabled and recieve Ca. Disaility at 1045.00 per month. I also recieve $611.00 per month for my minor child, as her father, and my former husband, became disabled in 1994 from a brain injury. II have been very ill for the past 5 years, and have only had minimal employment. I also recieve 985.00 per month for the ental of a small guest unit on my property.I started on the Loan Modification Program with Bank of america in August 2009. When I was laid off, and then urged by faamily, friends and my primary care physician to apply for disability, I did so. I also applied for Federal Social Security Disability, which would replace the State Disaility. When I called Bank of America to let them know I was on diability and nable to work ( my prognosis is poor)), they informed me I would be transferred to a “new” program”
called “forebearance” which as I understand it means they would “forgive” my past payments ( I always send something, but not the full amount. My current mortgage payment is 2500.00 per month, interest oly, adjustable, includes Tax and Insurance) the total loan note is 560,000.00. When I was in the loan modification, Bank of America was talking about a 1500.00 per month payment including tax and insurance. The forebearance program will not help me, I need a fixed and affordable onthly payment. I could pay 1500.00 per month. My additional income is 2000.00 per year, a gift from my father for Christmas and birthday. Can you advise? I have called and written so many people, including my lender. ( I am also in a debt consolidation program with a non profit debt counselling service to pay off my credit card and a 1000.00 line of credit at my bank) This payment is 260.00 per month.
Thank you
J. Millan
805-684-8381

49 S White

Bruce Wynn, My name is Shelly White and I am a Realtor in Texas. I am researhing some information and came across you post. I want to tell you first contact your loan company and explain your situation and ask for resolution. Also explain to them that you want to keep your home. You do have a hardship because your Mother is ill. I pray for that she gets better by the way. To answer your question based on my experience with loan modifications you must reside in the home, it must be your primary residence. to qualify. for the HAMP program. Once you return to your home, you should apply for a modification. Since you are away ask for a forebearance and when you return immediately apply for a loan modification under the HAMP program which Freddie Mac participates. This program has information on http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov.

50 Bill Schnitt

I cannot find a jending institution which willl use the presidents plan!!

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