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  • Ways To Avoid Foreclosure

    There are a number of approaches a homeowner can take to prevent a foreclosure. The government has established a number of refinancing programs to move the home owner into a more comfortable financial situation, such as the HARP Program.

    Current on your mortgage payments, but need to refinance and your home has lost value?

    For those homeowners who have been trying to refinance their homes through their bank in an effort to reduce their current payment structure and ease their current or anticipated financial burden, but have been declined for one reason or another, the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) can help.

    The HARP program is designed for home owners with home loans that are current on their payments but due to a decline in the value of their home, are unable to obtain the refinancing through traditional means to be able to achieve their goal of reducting their mortgage payments.

    The Home Affordable Refinance Program is similar to the Principal Reduction Alternative (PRA) except that this program is available to home loan applicants with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The agency must have assumed the home loan on or before May 31, 2009 and the loan has not yet received a HARP modification, unless through a Fannie / Freddie internal agency program between March and May of 2009. The home loan to value ratio must exceed 80 percent and the homeowner must be current in their mortgage obligations for the past twelve months.

    To find out if your home loan is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, feel free to use our free home loan lookup tools.

    (FannieMae / Freddie Mac)


    For Freddie Mac backed home loans, a homeowner can opt for Forbearance, a temporary assistance program that helps the borrower face short term financial hardships and essentially delays the immediate payment obligations to a time when the homeowner can better afford it. The temporary arrangement will account for the missed or delayed payments with a repayment plan to make up for the missed payments. This usually means including a small portion of the missed payments into the regular mortgage payment schedule once they begin again. The repayment plan can be modified in such a way as to take advantage of upcoming disbursements such as a tax refund or a supplemental revenue source payment.

    For more serious cases

    Unfortunately, the Emergency Homeowners Loan Program (EHLP) is closed, and not accepting any additional applications. However there are alternatives, such as the Hardest Hit program.

    There are a number of States that qualify for emergency finding for homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure, check to see if your state is among them. In addition to those States and a handful of States that offer additional emergency funding, they include Connecticut, Deleware, Idaho, Maryland and Pennsylvania. If you live in one of these States, you may be eligible for additional emergency funding. Contact a home loan modification lawyer to see what can be done to take advantage of those resources.

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