Search for Savings

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lowering Your Mortgage Payment and Saving Money

I know a lot of us have been hard with a HUGE loss on our homes, I know I am 50% down and others are much worse! :( The government has stepped in (and did something right!!) and has offered different programs to lower your financed amount for those who are managing through the turmoil and those who are struggling, with Making Homes Affordable (I have this directed straight to the eligibility questionaire that takes 5 minutes so you can see what may be good for you). There are two main programs: HAMP (modifcation for those who are struggling) and HARP (refinance for those who are current). Below is information taken directly from the website!

HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program) Eligibility:
  • You occupy the house as your primary residence.
  • You obtained your mortgage on or before January 1, 2009.
  • You have a mortgage payment that is more than 31 percent of your monthly gross (pre-tax) income.
  • You owe up to $729,750 on your home.
  • You have a financial hardship and are either delinquent or in danger of falling behind.
  • You have sufficient, documented income to support the modified payment.
  • 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.
HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) Eligibility:
  • You have a mortgage owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
  • You do not have an FHA, VA or USDA loan.
  • You are current on your mortgage payments and have not been more than 30 days late making a payment over the last year.
  • You owe more than the home is worth, but your mortgage does not exceed 125 percent of the current market value of your home.
  • The refinance will improve the long-term affordability or stability of your mortgage.
  • You have the ability to make the new payments.
There is also a completely different program (not sure if you can use it in conjunction with either of the other two programs), but the HHF (Hardest Hit Housing Markets) is directly through the government; where as the other two programs, HARP and HAMP, are through your mortgage company. The HHF is basically for those who are unemployed or under employed:
  • Mortgage payment assistance for unemployed or underemployed homeowners
  • Principal reduction to help homeowners get into more affordable mortgages
  • Funding to eliminate homeowners’ second lien loans
  • Help for homeowners who are transitioning out of their homes and into more affordable places of residence.
And are for the following states (they have direct links to each state):
There are several other programs for second mortgages, other fallen value assistance programs, and how to "exit gracefully" from your mortgage; but, the three I mentioned were the ones I thought would apply to most.
Make sure you call your mortgage company and inquire, you never know, you could be eligible and save a lot of money!!

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