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Do I Qualify for a Loan Modification?

This article was written by in Real Estate and Home. 19 comments.


(Or… What on Earth is an Affidavit of Financial Hardship?)

Today the U.S. Treasury announced the details of their “Making Home Affordable” Loan Modifications. This link to the financialstability.gov Web page about the plan should help you answer whether you are eligible to receive help with your “underwater” mortgage.

Here’s a good summary from a PDF linked from the above Web site that helps explain who the program is for:

The Home Affordable Refinance program will be available to 4 to 5 million homeowners who have a solid payment history on an existing mortgage owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Normally, these borrowers would be unable to refinance because their homes have lost value, pushing their current loan-
to-value ratios above 80%. Under the Home Affordable Refinance program, many of them will now be eligible to refinance their loan to take advantage of today’s lower mortgage rates or to refinance an adjustable-rate mortgage into a more stable mortgage, such as a 30-year fixed rate loan.

The one thing I found while reading about this that I wasn’t familiar with is a requirement to sign an Affidavit of Financial Hardship. Googling for it resulted in a number of State-specific PDF forms, but I did find a generic Affidavit created by Fannie Mae so you can at least have an idea of what to expect.

Updated February 10, 2011 and originally published March 4, 2009. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Smithee formerly lived primarily on credit cards and the good will of his friends. He is a newbie to personal finance but quickly learning from his past mistakes. You can follow him on Twitter, where his user name is @SmitheeConsumer. View all articles by .

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Dan

I was cracking up over this plan now that the details are coming out (all you can do is laugh). The ONLY people NOT helped by this plan are the ones who were responsible.

- I put 20% down when I bought my house
- My mortgage is less than 31% of my income
- I’m not living off credit cards

All these factors have now put me in the bucket of people who will be paying for those who don’t meet those criteria.

So much for the American Dream…

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avatar Steve

” My mortgage is less than 31% of my income ” – I thought the same thing after reading one site… but it turns on this 31% is only for the Modification part of the plan.

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avatar sox19782

Welcome to Obama’s America. Punish responsible behavior. If you’re paying your mortgage, no help for you. If you’ve worked hard and make a decent living, you pay more taxes. If your unions won’t budge, we’ll bail you out. It’s a great time to be an American

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avatar Andy

The housing plan could be the silver bullet to stabalize the housing market or just another $100 billion down the drain. I hope it is the former, but fear it could be the later.

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avatar ChipH

I am a homeowner living in South Florida. My wife and I got real excited when the President rolled out the “Making Home Affordable Plan” my wife did some research and to my disappointment we do not qualify. I bought my house in Jan of 2006 for 478k. It is now worth 325K. Is there any help out for homeowners in my situation. We have always paid our mortgage on time even though it is a struggle. From the information I have found on the Making Home Affordable Plan you must not owe more than 5 % of what the property is worth. You must also be at least 60 days late on your mortgage payment. If this is true why shouldn’t I stop making my mortgage payments and take advantage of 2 % interest rates. If someone could give me some feed back I would really appreciate it.

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avatar dcdubbs

I used to be involved in the mortgage business and saw the greed on both sides. We hear about the evil loan brokers and banks, but what is rarely reported is the borrowers looking to cash in but unwilling to handle the negative repercussions of real estate business.

Chip- why should you be bailed out. Would you be sharing your profits beyond your capital gains taxes if you sold your house for $600k? Of course not. The safety net for banks to not modify everyones loans, is that by requiring lates, the borrower needs to destroy their credit as the price of admission in order to get a loan mod.

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avatar fed-up

dcdubbs, I disagree with your statement that greed is on both sides, How can you call this normal “negative repercussions of real estate”, this was brought on by greed on the banking industry (and wall street). They lobbied for de-regulation and when they got it, they did what they wanted. . The banks have hoards of analyst and ivy league graduates who knew that things were not right and unsustainable yet they still opted to give away free money to irresponsible lenders. . (you put money in front and people and they will take it) . . . The little people like Chip, myself and others who opted to live within their means and did the “right thing” by being conservative,, Well we don’t have relative control of the housing market . . I paid down 20% down and many points back in 2006 to get a 5.1% fixed rate looking at a 30 year horizon, and would have been happy with modest sustainable gains in property values.. instead I’m upside down by 50%… so please don’t say that greed is on both sides. . . greed is on who opened pandora’s box on this mess and that is the banks . . they knew it was an irresponsible game of musical chairs and they still opted to play it. .

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