Mortgage relief from banks and lenders
Mortgage forbearance programs are offered by numerous lenders, including Bank of America, JP Morgan, Citibank, and Wells Fargo. Forbearance allows borrowers a temporary suspension of their monthly mortgage payments. So a homeowner will have time to explore their options, receive counseling, or modify their loan during this timeframe. In addition, a foreclosure on your home will not occur during the forbearance period. Learn more on mortgage forbearance.
Associated Bank is offering a mortgage assistance program that will help the unemployed stay in their homes by modifying their monthly payment for up to 12 months. It can lower a borrower’s monthly interest rates or suspend their payments for a period of time. More on Associated Bank mortgage assistance programs.
Bank of America Foreclosure Prevention - From January 2008 thru current, BOA has modified hundreds of thousands of mortgages. Some of those home loans were originally issued and held by Countrywide. Bank of America offers homeowners several foreclosure and mortgage assistance programs, including modifications, principal reduction, short sales, interest rate reductions and other resources. The lender also has opened help centers in many major cities, which provide homeowners with one on one counseling and free advice. Read more on all of the Bank of America foreclosure programs.
Citigroup will be providing mortgage help to millions of homeowners. They are committed to stopping foreclosures and in helping homeowners stay in their homes. Billions of dollars in fees and principal reduction will be provided to qualified borrowers. They will also provide additional mortgage assistance to the unemployed and those who have had a reduction in their income. Read more on the Citi unemployed homeowner mortgage assistance.
Countrywide / Bank of America has announced a program to help 400,000 homeowners pay their mortgage and keep them in their homes. It will offer modifications, principal reductions, free counseling, and other aid. Some borrowers may receive financial assistance in relocating to a new more affordable home. Many beneficiaries of assistance from this program received questionable or sub-prime loans from Countrywide. Find how to get help from Countrywide with housing issues, and learn how BOA took over the lender.
In addition, Countrywide will be spending billions of dollars to modify mortgages as a result of a lawsuit they settled with the federal government. Many state governments sued the lender for all of the questionable home loans that they issued to uninformed borrowers, and the funds to the settlement will go directly to helping homeowners. Find more details on the free mortgage modification from Countrywide.
Fifth Third Bank offers the You Have Options mortgage and foreclosure assistance plan. It provides struggling homeowners in their service territory a refinancing or loan modification option that will give them needed relief on their mortgage. Learn more on Fifth Third Bank You Have Options and how to apply.
JP Morgan Chase / Washington Mutual has announced a $70 billion plan to help over one million homeowners. They also continue to implement new services and programs for delinquent borrowers. The goal is to assist hundreds of thousands of borrowers across the nation each and every year. Read more on JP Morgan mortgage help.
Also, JP Morgan Chase has opened dozens of Homeownership Centers across the country to provide face to face contact for troubled borrowers. Anyone can stop by a center in their region for free consultations and information. The face to face contact from a homeownership center will ensure the borrower receives the attention and service they deserve.
Find out more about additional programs and options now being offered by JP Morgan Chase. The lender is continually creating new resources for those who need help. These programs are providing homeowners several additional options for mortgage delinquency counseling as well as foreclosure assistance. The bank is doing its best to help customers of all ages, backgrounds, and income levels, and they want to prevent as many foreclosure as possible. Find additional foreclosure and mortgage assistance from JP Morgan for housing issues.
Marshall & Ilsley (M&I) bank offers a foreclosure moratorium to provide homeowners time to improve their financial situation, improve their credit scores and resolve any mortgage issues. Another resource available is known as a Homeowner Assistance Program..
Regions Bank has helped thousands of homeowners avoid foreclosure through a program called the Customer Assistance Program. This can provide a number of solutions to qualified applicants. Sign up for forbearance, repayment plans, and home loan modifications are all offered. There are several Regions Bank foreclosure assistance programs for struggling low income customers.
Wachovia / Golden West/ Wells Fargo is helping millions of homeowners refinance their home loans and pay their mortgages. Many are victims of predatory lending practices. If you have received an interest only loan, or an ARM that is resetting to higher rates, then this program may help. Continue with Mortgage help from Wachovia.
Wells Fargo Loan Modification Program - They offer two main plans for homeowners. They include ProjectLifeline, which delays the foreclosure process, and also the Fast-Trac solution for adjustable rate mortgages. These two programs from Wells Fargo have helped thousands of homeowners. Benefits have included more time to pay your loan, and more affordable interest rates. More details on the Wells Fargo Lifeline.
In addition to the loan modification programs mentioned above, Wells Fargo has other options and programs that struggling homeowners can use to get help with paying their mortgage. Examples include principal reduction and forbearance. For example, they have written off tens of billions of dollars in principal that is due from a homeowner. Find additional Wells Fargo mortgage assistance programs.
Organizations that provide free mortgage help
Receive mortgage advice and foreclosure prevention counseling from The Alliance for Stabilizing our Communities (ASC). The organization was created from a partnership from the National Urban League (NUL), the National Coalition of Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR).
Catholic Charities also runs a number of free foreclosure counseling programs. They have locations across the nation, and case managers at many centers specialize in dealing with housing issues, including mortgage delinquency and providing more general homebuyer assistance. The services also deal with overall credit counseling and repair. All services are free to qualified families, and locations are approved and certified by HUD. Read more on Catholic Charities free housing counseling.
The Cherokee Nation offers resources and guidance to assist homeowners and help them prevent a home foreclosure. Solutions are focused on Native Americans across the country, as the Cherokee Nation mortgage program helps thousands of Native Americans.
Many Community Action Agencies have programs and resources that homeowners can take advantage of. While they primarily focus on providing counseling, some of the community action agencies can provide cash grants, mediation services, and other tools to help a homeowner prevent or stop a foreclosure filing. Even if they don’t offer direct financial aid or can’t meet your specific need, almost all agencies can provide referrals and guidance. Find how to apply for free foreclosure counseling from community action agencies.
There are thousands of non-profit housing counseling agencies that are certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Counselors will work with homeowners to help them prevent a foreclosure or get back on track with paying their mortgage. Most of the services are free for struggling homeowners. Get more details on HUD housing counseling agencies.
The NID-Housing Counseling Agency (NID-HCA) is a non-profit, HUD approved agency that assists homeowners with addressing financial situations including defaults and foreclosure, predatory lending, credit repair, referrals, foreclosure counseling, and other services. Their services are mostly free, and their goal is to help people stay in their homes. The NID Housing Counseling agency deals with a number of debt and foreclosure issues.
Mortgage and foreclosure assistance from the NeighborWorks America. They can provide help from the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program, which they are part of. Workshops, group events and sessions are held across the country. Find help from National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling.
Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America operates from over 40 offices across the nation and offers struggling homeowners numerous options to get mortgage help. Counselors and mediators are also available and may be able to prevent a foreclosure. Find more details on mortgage programs from Neighborhood Assistance Corp.
Save the Dream Tour: The NACA also has a venue to facilitate mortgage modifications, and it operates from dozens of major cities. The Save the Dream Tour has tens of thousands of homeowners participating at each event, and thousands of people who attend are able to have their mortgage restructured the same day. Attendees can meet directly with representatives from many banks and lenders. They can have their interest rates lowered to as low as 2%, or their principal reduced, or receive other forms of aid.
Union Plus provides mortgage assistance to union and organized labor members. Their immediate family members are also eligible. Short and long term assistance can be provided to people who are struggling with their mortgage and paying for other housing expenses. Some members may even receive cash or some form of grant for paying their mortgage. Continue with Union Plus foreclosure and mortgage assistance.
Federal government grants for mortgage payments
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are now owned by the federal government, are providing mortgage help to hundreds of thousands of homeowners from a few different programs. Since they are responsible for and service the vast majority of mortgages that are issued by hundreds of banks, many people will qualify for help from them and may not even realize it. Find the various Fannie and Freddie Mac mortgage programs.
- Freddie Mac has also opened Borrower Help Centers in several cities around the country. The centers will provide people with direct access to a housing specialist. Meet with a counselor to explore options for mortgage assistance, including loan modifications, overall debt counseling, and other resources to deal with a delinquent mortgage and other financial problems. Find a Borrower Help Center to learn more.
- The Borrower Help Network has also been launched by Freddie Mac. This is yet another resource for homeowners to use if they need foreclosure assistance. It allows borrowers the ability to receive personal attention from a specialist. Read more on the Freddie Mac Network.
- The Streamlined Modification Initiative is available in partnership with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). This home loan modification program will allow homeowners to receive a lower interest rate or extension of their repayment terms. No proof of income is required. Find how to apply for Streamlined Modification Initiative.
- The federal government also allows lenders to issue Energy Efficient Mortgages, or EEM. These will help homeowners pay for energy conservation measures for their house. They are another form of assistance program, and learn more on how to apply for Energy Efficient Mortgages.
The federal government’s Making Home Affordable program is working with various banks and lenders to ensure that they provide millions of homeowners with loan modifications. In some cases the government may be subsidizing fees and interest rate reductions. Learn about this and other programs, all of which can ensure people get relief from their mispriced mortgage payments. The other option is the Homeowner Affordability and Stability, which is part of Make a Home Affordable.
If you are one of the millions of homeowners whose mortgage balance in underwater, which means it exceeds the current property value of your home, then the federal government has three options for you.
- The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) can allow an individual to refinance into a more affordable loan.
- Look into the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). This assistance program may help lower your monthly payment, and ensure your home loan can be paid over the long term.
- In addition to what is mentioned above, the Home Affordable Modification Program has also been enhanced and a new version was created by the federal government. Improvements to it will allow a larger number of homeowners the ability to apply for assistance, including principal reductions or loan modifications that will have an even lower interest rate.
Many private and government grants can also be used to help pay your mortgage. While you do need to apply for these grant programs, they can be another option to consider. Note these are not that common but they can be another resource to explore. Find a list of grants that help with mortgages and bills.
Homeowners that are disabled can receive mortgage assistance from the FHFA Home Affordable Refinance Program, HUD housing vouchers, and other resources. Many of these services will be administered as income based programs. The client will normally need to use much of their monthly SSI or SSDI disability payment for paying their mortgage, but if they meet some of the other conditions in place, then additional support can be provided. Find other mortgage assistance for the disabled.
Learn about a federal government program, Hope for Homeowners, that is offered through the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). It will help hundreds of thousands of lower income homeowners pay or refinance their mortgages (including subprime). Some forms of help may even be available if the value of your home has significantly declined and if your loan is “underwater”. Continue with Hope for Homeowners.
- Note that the Hope for Homeowners program indicated above has been expanded. Families can now receive aid on a second mortgage, and more lenders are participating and cooperating with the FHA. Banks and lenders have been provided further incentive to participate in the program. Find how the FHA Expanded Hope for Homeowners to assist more borrowers.
- Another program offered by the Federal Housing Administration is the FHA Home Affordable Modification Program (FHA-HAMP). This could potentially help homeowners before they fall behind on their payments. Information on mortgage delinquency programs from FHA.
Military Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP) provides assistance to military service members, recent veterans and their families who are facing housing issues. Banks and national lenders such as Chase and Bank of America are also offering solutions to the nation’s veterans and service members. The military Homeowners Assistance helps veterans and service members.
The Service Members Civil Relief Act prevents a home foreclosure and will lower the interest rate on a home mortgage for military members. More information on the Service member Relief Act.
Another multibillion dollar government funded and organized assistance program, the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, has been created to provide states, local governments and homeowners with even more mortgage help. Grants from Neighborhood Stabilization will help stabilize hard hit towns and cities that have high foreclosure rates.
Find information on the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program, which is the new federal government short sale program. This is a plan created by the Obama administration that provides financial incentives to both homeowners and lenders. It both encourages the parties to use short sale process by providing financial aid to banks and homeowners, and it also simplifies the process. Find more on the short sale program from HAFA.
Free legal foreclosure counseling - Grants are provided to over 900 law offices and attorneys across the country as part of a federal government legal assistance program. While many services are offered by these pro-bono law firms and attorneys to income qualified clients, one of the services provided is free foreclosure assistance. Get free lawyer advice.
Mortgage help for the unemployed
If you have lost your job, had a reduction in work hours or income, or are unemployed, then you may qualify for assistance. Homeowners can receive mortgage help from the federal government Home Affordable Unemployment Program. This program can reduce someone’s monthly mortgage payments for up to 6 months, which will provide an individual time to find a new job. Read more on the unemployment mortgage program.
Another program offered to assist individuals and families with their mortgage payments if they had a reduction in income, either from job loss, a reduction in hours, unemployment, or a medical emergency, is the HUD Emergency Homeowners Loan Program.
The Hardest Hit Fund was created to provide additional options to residents of those states that have the highest unemployment rates, most significant job losses, and that have been hit hardest by the nation’s housing crisis. This program is only available in certain parts of the country. Borrowers can qualify for zero interest rate loans that do not need to be repaid, so these can be thought of as grants. Click here to read more on Hardest Hit mortgage fund.
Additional solutions to explore
There are numerous mortgage delinquency solutions and programs that you and your lender can review. When it comes down to it, the only thing that can stop a foreclosure from occurring will depend upon what you can afford to pay and what your bank will agree to accept. This will be based upon, among other things, your total household income and expenses, what other assets and resources you have available to you, the amount you are behind on your mortgage payments, the type of loan, and other factors. First, you need to understand the foreclosure process. Then explore some of options and resources that can provide you with mortgage help. The final objective of this entire process is to help you stop a foreclosure from occurring. Some of the various steps to take include the following.
Short sale can be an alternative to a foreclosure, and it will allow you to sell your home for less than the current outstanding mortgage balance on it. While this can be a drawn out process and take time, this option is becoming more common and acceptable by banks, real estate agents and servicers. Learn more on how short sales can stop foreclosures.
Modify your mortgage loan. In many cases your payment is no longer affordable due to changing personal or financial circumstances. A loan modification can reduce your payments, waive fees, lower your interest rates, and more. Banks and lenders are also offering loan modifications with interest rates as low as 2%. They have determined this is in their best financial interest as well. Learn more on low interest rate loan modifications. Find all of the pros and cons as well as details on modifying mortgages.
Mortgage principal reductions are becoming more common. The latest data shows that banks and lenders are forgiven, deferring or reducing the principal balance on about 15% of home mortgages, and they are writing off billions of dollars in principal. Studies show that reducing the balance on a mortgage may be the most effective solution to a housing crisis. Locate a list of mortgage loan principal reduction programs from banks.
Short pay refinance is when the mortgage lender or bank will agree to reduce or discount your loan balance. It is similar to the principal reduction indicated above. This should be considered when the homeowner is facing an economic or financial hardship. A short pay refinance is when the home is refinanced with a new lender.
A deed in lieu of foreclosure is when a homeowner gives the lender back the convey and deeds the home back to the bank or lender that currently holds the mortgage. This has several advantages for both the lender and the borrower, including less of an impact to credit scores, and it releases the homeowner from the debt they owe. Continue with deed in lieu of foreclosure.
Steps to take yourself to help with your mortgage
There are several steps that homeowners can take on their own to deal with a delinquent mortgage payment or an impending foreclosure. People do not always need to rely on the government, solutions offered by their lender or a housing counselor. There are things you can do own your own. However, please always keep in mind that mortgage counselors can often help you, and they offer free or no cost mortgage advice.
It is critical to first and foremost understand your mortgage. Review the document, understand the key terms, and your rights and obligation. More on know your mortgage.
Learn what do do if you are behind on your mortgage payments. A series of steps can be taken by the homeowner. You need to act quickly, be pro-active, and follow u if you are behind on mortgage payments.
Be sure to communicate. Contact your mortgage servicer to ask them about assistance they offer, such as mortgage modifications, fee waivers, budgeting, and credit or foreclosure counseling. Many lenders are willing to work with borrowers to at minimum discuss some type of solution.
Consider giving up your home without foreclosure. Learn the pros and cons and the process, including the impact to your credit score and future housing needs.
Get any needed help from mortgage, housing, and credit counseling agencies. These professionals will work directly with your lenders or banks on your behalf. They can negotiate for you, process paperwork, or mediate a solution. Be sure to avoid the scam artists using mortgage counselors.
Learn about the types of mortgages you can refinance into, such as adjustable and fixed home loans. With interest rates so low, refinancing can help you reduce your monthly payments and provide you time to get back on track with paying your mortgage.
Bankruptcy can help save your home from foreclosure in a few ways. read more on the bankruptcy process and how it can save your home, implications to your credit ratings and the impact on your outstanding mortgage, and how it may be able to help.
Attorneys say that just by staying put in your home can delay the foreclosure process for months. You can even continue to live in your home during the court process, and it may even stop the foreclosure filing altogether.
The FHA also greatly encourages that you explore all loan workout solutions with your lender. Be sure to ask your lender for help.
Bottom line on mortgage relief programs
The last thing any homeowner wants is to face the stress of being behind on their mortgage payment, or worse yet, to think about, and possibly lose the family home to foreclosure or unpaid property taxes. No one ever plans to or expects to lose their home to foreclosure. But by understanding how you can obtain assistance with making your mortgage payments, who and how to ask for help, and what to do, you can reduce your chances of this occurring. You should also know the foreclosure process inside and out, and understand what may lead up to it, as well as what resources can help a homeowner pay their mortgage.