As the financial markets continue to be in turmoil, more and more homeowners are at risk of defaulting on their mortgage payments and having their homes foreclosed. Sensing the severity of the situation, Congress has launched a new program called the HOPE for Homeowners (H4H) program.
This program is designed to help homeowners who may have problems meeting their mortgage commitments to work out alternative solutions, so that the homeowners get to keep their homes. The program is said to be effective from 1st October 2008 to 30th September 2011. More than 400,000 Americans can potentially benefit from this program.
There are 4 ways a homeowner can get access to the H4H program.
1) The homeowners may take the first move and initiate contact with the lender to find out more about eligibility requirements.
2) Some professional service providers such as loan modification experts may provide the necessary information required for engaging in the H4H program.
3) Some lenders may take a more active approach and contact their own customers to offer details about the H4H program. Lenders proactively do so because they seek more business. But the primary objective is still to work out a win-win deal with the homeowner.
4) Homeowners who are already in trouble may be undergoing financial counseling. Counselors may offer these homeowners more details about the H4H program.
Consulting the services of a professional service provider is highly recommended because of the valuable advice that they are able to provide.
For instance, anyone can just make a quick search on the Internet for eligibility requirements. Some eligibility requirements include not being able to afford the current loan, not owning a second property, not been convicted of fraud in the last 10 years, and more. Such information is important, but they are easily accessible.
The challenge is always to decide whether the program is suitable for the homeowner or not. Different homeowners may have different needs. For example, a homeowner may be temporarily unable to meet mortgage payments due to sickness. And if the sickness is a temporary condition, then the homeowner is expected to be able to meet future mortgage payments. In this case, a professional service provider may come in to help negotiate for a longer grace period, and a H4H program may not be necessary.
But mostly, homeowners who are interested in the H4H program are those who are unable to afford their current loans. So the H4H program is a measure to help both parties, lenders and homeowners, mitigate losses. For example, under this program, the lender may allow the homeowner to pay less for each mortgage payment. This is possible as the existing loan is refinanced into a 30 year fixed rate loan. However, the homeowner will have to make the payments in a timely manner, according to the guidelines set by the H4H program.
There are also special conditions that govern the H4H loan if you decide to sell or refinance. Due to such sophisticated implications, most homeowners will find it wise to consult professional loan modification firms. They will lay out the options available, advise on the implications, and help the homeowners make wiser and better decisions.
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