There have been rumors and various news reports circulating that FHA will soon be allowing unemployed Americans who have an FHA insured mortgage to miss up to 1 year of mortgage payments without being foreclosed on.
My hope in writing this article is to provide more details on this topic that is sure to prompt more and more discussions and questions.
IMPORTANT: Please note that only the customer’s current lender can give them a final answer on if they qualify under this program. The number to call is on their mortgage payment coupons or monthly statements from their current lender.
People who own a home with an FHA-backed mortgage; are out of work; cannot make your payments and are concerned about losing their home to foreclosure may have hope as early as August 1, 2011.
On August 1, 2011, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will change their rules, allowing unemployed “Qualified Homeowners” to miss mortgage payments up to one full year before foreclosure proceedings begin.
This is an increase from the three to four months currently allowed by HUD for long-term unemployed borrowers.
Homeowners who “qualify” would have to make up those deferred or missed mortgage payments when they find a job.
A specific list of HUD’s requirement of a “Qualifying Homeowner” has not been released by HUD. However, there is an “Explore Eligibility” button under the link, “Homeowners Struggling with Mortgage Payments”, on HUD’s website: www.makinghomeaffordable.gov.
On the site, you will find a list of questions that will probably represent the basis for what is required to be considered a “Qualifying Homeowner”.
At this time, the reprieve only includes those with FHA Insured loans. However, Secretary of HUD Shaun Donovan stated last week that government officials are hoping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will adopt similar policies.
The impact would be huge if Fannie and Freddie also introduced such a plan since together they back about 90% of all mortgages.
The continued housing crisis, coupled with record mortgage defaults, are playing havoc with the government’s attempts to restart the struggling economy. In a town-hall meeting last week, President Obama remarked, “the housing market has been most stubborn to us trying to solve our economic problems.”
Only time will tell how many homeowners will actually “qualify” for this new FHA payment relief program.
For additional information on the program, including eligibility and requirements, visit www.makinghomeaffordable.gov.
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