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3/4/2009 - Treasury Releases Details of Home Loan Plan

The Obama administration kicked off a new program today aimed at helping up to nine million borrowers stay in their homes through refinanced mortgages or loans that are modified to lower monthly payments.

The program includes both loan refinancing and loan modification options.

Loan Refinancing: Many homeowners pay their mortgages on time but are not able to refinance to take advantage of today’s lower mortgage rates perhaps due to a decrease in the value of their home. A Home Affordable Refinance will help borrowers whose loans are held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac refinance into a more affordable mortgage.

  • Only homeowners whose mortgages are owned or financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, can qualify for this part of the program. Click here to find out if you have a Fannie Mae loan and here to find out if you have a Freddie Mac loan.
  • The current value your mortgage cannot be greater than 105% of the current value of your home to qualify for this part of the program. Meeting this requirement may present a problem for Green Cay Village Homeowners as it it hard to say what our homes are worth since there have been no sales of townhomes or condos since March 2008.

    However, as a starting point, the average appraised value of townhomes and condos in Green Cay Village is currently 82% of the sale price. So, if the current appraised value is really  the current value of your mortgage and assuming you paid 20% down, the math should work out.

And then there are practical aspects to consider, such as how much can you save with a lower priced mortgage, particularly when you roll in mortgage processing fees and points. My take here is that if you already have a 30 year fixed rate mortgage and you can't get a refinancing rate that is more than 1% less than you are currently paying, then the math will probability indicate that refinancing is a bad deal.

Loan Modification: Many homeowners are struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments either because their interest rate has increased or they have less income. A Home Affordable Modification will provide them with mortgage payments they can afford.

Details on both of these programs can be found here. And even more information can be found here, here, and here.

Need urgent help? Contact the Homeowner’s HOPE™ Hotline: (888) 995-HOPE or a HUD-approved housing counselor.

Peter Schulz - Editor - Email TCM

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