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Home Affordable loan modifications are offered as a government homeowner bailout program designed to help qualified borrowers who can no longer afford their monthly loan payments.

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News and Updates for Homeowners

Time Running Out on Home Affordable Modification Program Loans?

December 3, 2010 - Is time running out for homeowners in need of the Home Affordable Loan Modification Program or HAMP? Home Affordable loan modifications are offered as a government homeowner bailout program designed to help qualified borrowers who can no longer afford their monthly loan payments. This program has been in effect since 2009 and has been through several changed to help lenders and borrowers alike.

But HAMP is not indefinite; at the time of this writing it is set to expire on June 10, 2011. That date may change if legislation or an extension is announced, but home owners should not assume the program will be extended. Those considering getting help from the Home Affordable program should act soon.

The < href="http://makinghomeaffordable.gov/borrower-faqs.html#18">Home Affordable official site has a set of guidelines for establishing whether a borrower is eligible to apply for this program. Those guidelines include some basic requirements including a rule that the borrower must be in financial trouble with a first lien mortgage originated on or before January 1, 2009.

The home must be the primary residence, the amount owed must be under or equal to $729,750, and there's also a debt-to-income ratio figure applied. The Home Affordable questionnaire asks potential applicants if, "a monthly mortgage payment (including taxes, insurance, and home owners association dues) (is) greater than 31% of your monthly gross (pre-tax) income."

If the you meet the basic criteria listed here you may be eligible to apply for help from the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). This program is voluntary and not all lenders participate; those who do participate must follow Department of Housing and Urban Development guidelines, which include;

"Participating servicers may not refer a loan for foreclosure sale or proceed with a foreclosure sale on an eligible loan until the homeowner has been evaluated for HAMP and, if eligible, a trial modification offer has been made."

HAMP rules also include a caveat to participating lenders that foreclosure sales may not be conducted while the loan is being considered for a HAMP modification; those rules are a major help for homeowners trying to avoid default and foreclosure with this program.