The last time we tried to refinance (or, investigated I should say) we got shut down by my bff USAA before I could even finish my sentence. We were $60k underwater then, and we’re $59,999 underwater now ;) Not much progress on our end I must admit.
BUT, and here’s the AWESOME part of the story, while we get screwed from the help it doesn’t mean you guys do! There are some pretty bad ass new programs out now that allows many more to get refinanced than before . If you meet all the guidelines of course. And for some of them that means lots of hardship and misfortune – something the Mrs. and I thankfully don’t have (knock on wood). So while it pisses me off that we get passed on the new programs out there, I AM happy to report the ones who need it the most now have a better shot :)
Here’s a quick breakdown on all the programs now available, copied directly from Obama’s “Making Home Affordable” plan:
“The Making Home Affordable Program is part of the Obama Administration’s broad, comprehensive strategy to get the economy and the housing market back on track. The Making Home Affordable Program offers strong options for homeowners: (1) refinancing mortgage loans through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), (2) modifying first and second mortgage loans through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and the Second Lien Modification Program (2MP), (3) providing temporary assistance to unemployed homeowners through the Home Affordable Unemployment Program (UP), and (4) offering other alternatives to foreclosure through the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA).”
And here’s what all that means :)
Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)
If you pay your mortgages on time, but aren’t able to refinance to take advantage of today’s lower mortgage rates (maybe because your way underwater due to losing value in your home). A Home Affordable Refinance will help borrowers whose loans are held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac refinance into a more affordable mortgage. (This is the program we wanted to get into but we don’t fall under Fannie Mae or Freddie mac. But maybe YOU do?)
Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)
If you’re struggling to pay your monthly mortgage due to interest rate hikes or loss of income, this Home Affordable Modification plan might be able to provide you with more affordable payments. (What I mentioned earlier – only helps you if you’re really drowning).
Second Lien Modification Program (2MP)
If you’re struggling to make payments due to a second lien. The 2nd Lien Modification Program (2MP) offers homeowners a way to lower payments on their second mortgage when their first mortgage is modified under the Home Affordable Modification Program. (not as sexy as the first 2 options up there in my opinion, but still a good option!)
Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA)
And lastly (the worst case scenario) if there’s no way you can afford your payments any more, but you want to avoid the negative effects of foreclosure. The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program offers homeowners $3,000 to help transition to more affordable housing when you complete a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.
Again, these may not apply to everyone but it never hurts to spend a few minutes checking them out! It literally cost me 20 mins of my life – and that’s going back and forth on the phone between 2 companies – to see if we qualified for any of these guys (well, except for 2MP and HAFA, not trying to go down that route). So do it now if you need the help! It’s pretty eye opening to see what’s available. Just too bad we’ll personally have to dig ourselves outta this one. But hey, we got ourselves into it right?
(Note to self: Never buy a house again.)
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