What is HAMP?
The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is a loan modification program that was launched by the federal government in 2009. It was designed to offer homeowners a chance to amend the original terms of their mortgage to create a more manageable agreement. The goal of loan modification is to restructure the loan in a way that will help the borrower make the monthly payments and eventually pay off the loan. This is often achieved through “re-amortization,” which allows the borrower to make lower monthly payments in return for making the payments over a longer period of time. In other words, the borrower will be able to afford ongoing payments, but may be paying more in the long run.
Who is eligible for HAMP?
Anyone whose mortgage is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, two government funded housing finance agencies, is guaranteed access to the HAMP modification program if the following criteria is met:
In danger of default- You are considered “in danger of default” if you are struggling to make your monthly mortgage payments and your current payment is more than 31% of your gross monthly income.
Experienced a documented hardship- You will need to prove that you have experienced a hardship that has significantly contributed to your financial struggle. This might be a job loss, divorce or illness. You will also need proof of your income, so be prepared to show tax returns.
Successful completion of trial period- In order to qualify for a long-term, permanent HAMP plan, you must make every payment on time and in full for at least three months. Otherwise, your loan modification may be defaulted.
Are there other available options?
Although HAMP is set to expire at the end of this year, there are many alternatives that can provide you with financial relief to avoid foreclosure. These include other types of loan modifications, refinancing, forbearance, bankruptcy, short sales, and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. To learn more about these options, give a Miami foreclosure defense attorney at Graham Legal a call today.