Attention Tangipahoa Homeowners

April 2, 2009

Tangipahoa Homeowners should know that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is providing help for delinquent and non-delinquent homeowners.  Last month, the Treasury Department announced its Making Home Affordable programs.  Making Home Affordable provides two options for homeowners, refinancing and loan modifications.  The programs are aimed at homeowners who are struggling to meet their mortgage obligations.  The Home Affordable Refinance program is for homeowners who have been making their mortgage payments on time but are struggling to do so.  The program allows qualifying homeowners to take advantage of today’s historically low fixed interest rates.  The program even allows homeowners who have seen a decline in values to participate.  Because the lender already has much of the homeowners’ information on file. the refinancing process should take less time and be less costly than conventional refinancing. 

The Home Affordable Refinance program is only available for home loans which are backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  The Home Affordable Loan Modification program is aimed at the at-risk homeowner as well as homeowners currently in the foreclosure process.  Loan modifications may reduce loan payments to 31% of the homeowner’s gross monthly income.  Loan modification includes reduction of payments, loan balance forgiveness and extension of the loan up to 40 years.  The Home Affordable Loan Modification program has been designed to work in conjunction with the FHA Hope For Homeowners program as well.  To apply for the Home Affordable Refinance or Loan Modification programs, homeowners must qualify under the guidelines of the Making Home Affordable program.

Tangipahoa homeowners should be aware that there are scams afoot which charge you for services in seeking loan modifications.  Please do not be taken in by those who prey on others.  Free help is available at HomeownerHope.org for homeowners seeking a loan modification.  At this site, you will find a questionnaire which helps to determine what federal and/or local programs are available.  The site also provides a free checklist and call log to assist you when you contact your lender.  In addition you can sign up for a free newsletter which will keep you up-to-date on any changes to programs which may assist you.

The Making Home Affordable website offers a free online tool to determine your eligibility for both refinancing and loan modification options available to homeowners.  Any Tangipahoa homeowner that has experienced a job loss, a reduction in their income, foresees their house payment increasing or is struggling with their current mortgage payment would be wise to check out the Making Home Affordable Refinance program.  If you are a Tangipahoa “at-risk” homeowner or if you are behind in your mortgage, you should contact your lender regarding a loan modification.  Lenders are receiving incentive funds from the government when they help you modify your loan.

Yvonne Martin, Keller Williams Realty


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