Monday, June 24, 2013

New Mortgage Modification Program to Help Delinquent Homeowners

From the New York Times:

Homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments should check their mail carefully in coming weeks. Lenders will be offering loan modifications without even being asked. Under a new Streamlined Modification Initiative announced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, mortgage servicers must now offer borrowers who are 3 to 24 months delinquent a plan to help avoid foreclosure.

The elimination of paperwork coupled with a proactive approach should benefit borrowers, said Timothy M. Dwyer, the chief executive of Entitle Direct, a direct-to-consumer title insurance company. “All it takes is for the borrower to make that new payment and they’re in the trial period of the program,” he said. “It can’t be any more simple than that. There’s not even a requirement that you sign something, send it in and have it approved.”

Borrowers must make three monthly payments on time before the modification becomes permanent. The program applies to loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The start date was to be July 1, but an agency spokesman said Fannie and Freddie had already begun the program. It expires Dec. 31, 2015.

Steve Clowney

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