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Making Home Affordable Mortgage Refinance & Modification Program

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Farm House with Rising SunI’ve been hearing a lot about the government’s Making Home Affordable mortgage refinance program. Having looked at refinancing our mortgage a few months ago, but not pulling the trigger, I was interested to see if we could benefit from this program (we can’t, but that’s not a bad thing). It’s designed to help people get more favorable loan terms in scenarios where their home has lost value. A lot of lenders won’t refinance a loan if the value of your home is less than the loan amount, it’s simply a matter of math; this program looks to help alleviate some of that.

This program, introduced by the Obama Administration as part of the Financial Stability Plan, is estimated to help 7 to 9 million people. They estimate the Home Affordable Refinance Program will help 4 to 5 million and the Home Affordable Modification Program will help 3 – 4 million. What this means is that you should act quickly if you want your application processed quickly. The longer you wait to apply, the larger the backlog will grow, so let’s get to the program!

What is the Making Home Affordable Program?

There are two parts to the program. The first is Home Affordable Refinancing, which helps borrowers refinance a loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. It’s designed for people who are current on their mortgages and are unable to refinance because the value of their home has fallen by too much. The second part of the program is Home Affordable Modification, which assists in the modification of a loan, rather than a refinance. It’s designed for people who are “struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments.”

Making Home Affordable Eligibility

Home Affordable Refinancing: The first rule is that your loan has to be backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which you can confirm on their websites (Fannie Mae Loan Lookup, Freddie Mac Loan Lookup). If you’re uncomfortable looking it up online, you can call Fannie Mae at 1-800-7FANNIE and Freddie Mac at 1-800-FREDDIE, 8AM to 8PM Eastern Standard Time).

Next, use the government’s website to determine your eligibility by answering this 4-question qualification form. I can save you some time, if you answer NO to any of the four questions, you’re not eligible for Home Affordable Refinance.

Home Affordable Modification: You aren’t required to have your loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac for Home Affordable Modification, so you can skip that step and go straight to the 5-question qualification form. Again I can save you some time, if you answer NO to any of the five questions, you don’t qualify.

I Qualify, Now What?

Call the bank or mortgage lender that owns your mortgage and ask them for the Home Mortgage Refinance or Modification program application. You’ll need the following (I’d call for the application and then start collecting this information):

  • Information about your mortgage, such as your monthly mortgage statement and
  • Information about the monthly gross (before tax) income of your household, including recent pay stubs if you receive them or documentation of income you receive from other sources.
  • Your most recent income tax return.
  • Information about any second mortgage or home equity line of credit on the house.
  • Account balances and minimum monthly payments due on all of your credit cards.
  • Account balances and monthly payments on all your other debts such as student loans and car loans.

Are you looking to take advantage of this program?

(Photo: orvaratli)

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994 Responses to “Making Home Affordable Mortgage Refinance & Modification Program”

  1. Christine says:

    Hello All,
    I just wanted to let you all know that it is possible and it does happen!
    We have a mortgage through BOA. My memory is a little foggy as we have had our modified mortgage for almost a year now. I remember qualifying for the program and thinking “it’s never going to happen.” I want to say we qualified in September of last year. We faxed, Fed Ex’d, called, emailed, paid and etc. We jumped through all of their hoops. We never got excited and never thought “this is actually going to happen”. I didn’t think we would ever hear from them as it took forever. Finally the last part of November we received a Fed Ex saying we were approved. A few weeks later we received our new mortgage agreement. We signed it and sent the check in. I went over the paper work over and over to make sure we had done everything right. We still did not get excited. Finally Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s to us we finally saw the change on the website and paperwork. We finally got excited, but I still held my breath. Our interest rate was lowered from 5.8% to 4.2% and our monthly payment went down about $100. Like I said, it has now almost been a year and we have paid on time every month and have had absolutely no issues what-so-ever!
    I have told my husband over and over about how we are the ONLY people I have ever heard of actually getting a modification. I just wanted to let you all know, that it can happen.

  2. joe says:

    Home modification program is a scam.

  3. Dawn says:

    I have been dealing with this program for over a year. I got to see the modification but my husband signed on the wrong line and they denied me. Now they will start foreclosure procedure. They told me on the begining not to pay my mortgagee so now I owe to much in back pay.

  4. cat says:

    I was approve for modification program, which it reduce my monthly mortgage payment $1000.00 less per month. At 2% per rate for 5 years and lock in at 5.25% rate for 35 years. after 5 years the interested rate goes up 1% per years till I reach the 5.25% rate.
    After my 1 year 1/2 of payment. The mortgage co. told me that I was about 4 payment behind. I needed to pay the bank about $7,000.00. I was never late in those months. The bank told me if I do not pay the $7,000.00 they will start the foreclosure. I do not have the extra money to pay them. This is BS what the bank is doing. If I knew this was going to happen I would have never paid them. The bank are taking the money and are not to be trusted.

    • Cathy says:

      Cat – which bank is doing this? that is awful. And the crooks wonder why people are saving their money under their mattress until they are thrown out? We live in a shack practiccally and owe almost 2000 a month. By the time we are done paying over 30 years we will have paid tripple the amount. its just not right the way it is set up for struggling Americans trying to live the American dream.

  5. Cathy says:

    We have attempted mods before – this is our 2nd offical attempt = Im trying to be more hopeful in that now we actually are assigned to ONE person – Bank Of America appears to be sending their people all over the map to draw home owners who are behind in to get help. Dont trust them completely – in past they told us we were just about completed – then they took our whole tax return one year and was suppose to put all the late payments at end of loan – they didnt. This month makes us 7 months behind. Lady told me usually at 12 months they dont do load mods. One guy told me from BOA you have to be like 24 months behind before they throw you out. So my idea is for people who are getting the run around – live there and don’t pay and save up the money instead if they are gonna lie to you then put the money down on a home that is actually not going to leave you owe 300.000 for home that is only worth 1/2 of that cause of this economy. I think the bail outs are bs and Americans are being set up if they are not the elite ones!

  6. kittie says:

    I was in a program with makeing home afforabel and freddy mac and b of a and on the the 6th sent in all the paper work and on the 9th the bank said to call in 20 days, well in 9 days they sold my house, all the time the bank and MHA knew on the 19th and no one called me or e mail me, to let me know, that the bank said no and now my house is sold to a third party, so if you are thinking about this program think again you will loss your home don’t what to do now. i want to do some think but don’t know what to do, can any one help, we won’t even get any money to move we have been in this house for 30 years. sham on them.

  7. kittie says:

    one more thing no one from the bank called me back but on the 20th the bank sent a other letter ot call them back in 20 days and on the 22, my sale date got a other letter call in 20 days can’t belive this.

    • BOASUX says:

      FYI they publish the sale dates publically-by law-in a “popular newspaper”…so say you live in a city a regular newspaper….the intend of sale will not be pulished there…they will find something like a Mexican paper and print it in the classifieds. Now if youre english speaking who picks up some rag tag Mexican Newspaper directed at the Hispanic community. But its all PERFECTLY LEGAL. You can also check on your States Clerk of the Court website…usually sale dates with names and addys are listed at least a month prior to the sale date.

  8. Rob says:

    I WAS approved in December after 6 months of faxing, Fed-ex, calling, passed around, no answers. The problem is, I am a truck driver and had not received the paperwork to sign and send back in time. So now, even though I have made payments on time, and can overnight the paperwork, they say it is too late and will not reconsider me. They tell me I do not qualify even though I was approved last month and my pay or expenses have not changed.

  9. Carrol says:

    I needed to do some research for a friend of mine that has been trying to modify her mortgage. She has a language barrier and I was sure I could help her with this. I’ve read this blog and i’m flabbergasted by the consistency of the outcomes of everyones attempt at refinancing. I know my sister attempted three separate times and her final attempt was successful. That is if you consider a $7.00 monthly reduction a success. I thought maybe it was just her circumstances but it seems to me the the banks are not going to help anyone. Shame on them. In 2009 I lost my home because my husband sustained an injury that caused us to lose his income for 5 months. We loaned ourselves the money from our 401k but that was another mistake and the beginning of many problems to come. Here it is 3 years later and actually almost 5 since his accident. We are divorced and he filed bankruptcy and I have a tax burden of over $40,000. thanks to the 401k loan. My credit score is barely over 500 and my car loan is at 19% interest. Words of wisdom from someone who has walked down that road. Dont hold onto a home no matter the memories or the desire for the american dream. Home is where you and your children are. Be it an apartment or your parent’s basement. Unfortunately the process many of you are going through will only cause you to hate the very thing your trying to keep. NOT WORTH IT. Let it go and you’ll be much better for it.

  10. Susie says:

    Making Home Affordable was designed to make people think this government wants to help people stay in their homes. The reality is it’s just a carrot to string people along until the next election so that, while people who have applied and eagerly await approval, they will vote to keep this worst President in the history of the U.S. WAKE UP PEOPLE, after you’ve lost your home, the bread lines are coming–or the cake!

  11. Terri says:

    We did a modification with B of A over a year ago. Every thing went smoothly. It took about 10 months, but there were no annoying calls, no lost paperwork, and our payment went down several hundred dollars. They automatically modified our HELOC.
    I had a friend trying to modify through Chase and it was a nightmare. After 2 years they finally approved a short sale a few weeks ago.

  12. Catrina says:

    I just did a very smooth modification with Chase and keep wondering why these programs appear so random…..some have nightmares with one company, someone else doesn’t. The least we can assume is that the rules vary and the winners are picked at random (or with some complex system none of us can be clear about on any given day). Now, I need to do a second mortgage and this one is immediately appearing to be much more complicated….ah WHY??? The first modification decreased my mortgage by over $800 and will save my house IF the other shoe doesn’t drop, pray for me people, who knows what the future brings. I truly believe the only way this is going to end is for the American people to boycott banks (when at all possible) and demand honest reform, good luck with that given the fact we are all just living pay check to paycheck………..

    • ruubs says:

      we should all take our money out of the banks and send them to hell. I have not read one good thing about this program its complete bull shit. The FED gives them our money and they tell us to go get fcked. They prolong the process till they get more money cause the first 3 waives of stimulus did not work. I hate those fckn bastards

  13. H.E. says:

    I did a refit with Bank of America. I found the staff pushy unknowable and unprofessional. I have a credit score of 813 and had to send so many extra letters about why I didn’t have credit card debt, etc….

    All the papers I received from them were marked ASAP!!!! Every email I received was flagged urgent. I did everything as fast as i could! But when it was time for them to get back to me…. slow as molasses! They also told me a lower interest rate than was on my loan! I caught them on that and they said it was a typo??

    I did get my loan reduced by 3 years and each month I will pay about $25 less….

    I can happen… just don’t trust them. And you have to call them ALL THE TIME!

  14. mooser25 says:

    The making home affordable plan does not make any sense to me since it is based on 31% of your GROSS income. Are they telling us (the government) that they don’t know we pay 25% to 40% in income tax, have to pay bills, gas for cars at an all time high per gallon, pay for food, utilities, clothes and anything else we may need to live? So where does that leave any individual or family. I have done the math on several scenarios and they all come out with none or not enough money to live with the bare basic needs. How is this helpful? Your thoughts?

  15. jay says:

    What happens when your mortgage company give you a bad modification?

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