The Obama Mortgage
What You Should Know About This Program?
The U.S. government has created several programs aimed at helping borrowers in financial trouble avoid foreclosure, stay in their homes, and make their mortgage payments more affordable. Some use a catch-all term, “Obama mortgage” to describe one or more of these programs. What is an Obama mortgage? How does the government offer help to borrowers who are worried about their mortgage payments?
The term “Obama mortgage” has, for better or worse, been applied by some to one or more of the following. You’ll find that there’s one program that’s directly referred to as an Obama mortgage-the Making Home Affordable program.
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"Making Home Affordable" Options
The Obama Mortgage, Refinancing, and HARP
The official government website for Making Home Affordable has a list of options for borrowers who need mortgage help. Choosing the right program depends on your needs. Here’s a list of the programs found at the Making Home Affordable Website:
The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)
This program is described on the official site for borrowers who want to lower monthly mortgage payments, "making them more affordable and sustainable for the long-term".
The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)
The HARP program is for homeowners who are current on mortgage payments but, “have had difficulty refinancing”. The official site says that even for borrowers who are “underwater” on their mortgages (owing more than the home is currently worth on the housing market), if mortgage is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, HARP could be of assistance.
Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA)
According to the official website, HAFA “provides homeowners the opportunity to exit their homes and be relieved of their remaining mortgage debt through a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (DIL). It also provides homeowners with $10,000 in relocation assistance”.
Home Affordable Unemployment Program (UP)
This program is designed to temporarily lower or suspend a qualifying borrower’s monthly mortgage payment, “giving you some much needed breathing room while you search for your next job” according to the official site.
Each of these programs has specific criteria borrowers will need to meet in order to qualify. Some programs require you to be current on your mortgage and apply before missing payments, etc. Othes may be available for those who have fallen behind on mortgage payments. Some of these programs will help borrowers keep their homes and stay in them, while at least one is designed as a short sale/foreclosure avoidance plan.
You can view specific details of these programs and more at the Making Home Affordable official site.