President Obama has unveiled the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan yesterday. It is supposed to help 9 million people with their mortgage problems.
Are you one of them?
THE REFINANCING PLAN Is your loan owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac? If not, it won’t help you. There is another part of the plan that might, however. Is your mortgage at least 5 percent more than the value of your home? It has to be. A survey on Wednesday said up to 20 percent of us are in this predicament. Is your mortgage on a home you occupy? If it’s an apartment building, are there fewer than five units? Are you up to date on your payments. Better be.
According to the Obama plan, “you should call your mortgage servicer or lender (the organization to whom you make your monthly mortgage payments) and ask about the Home Affordable Refinance application process. The number is on your monthly mortgage bill or coupon book.”
MORTGAGE MODIFICATION PLAN Did you get your mortgage before Jan. 1, 2009. Do you owe $729,750 or less on your first mortgage? Have you had a big increase in the mortgage payment, or a reduction in your salary, or medical bills that have created your inability to continue your mortgage? Is your current mortgage payment is more than 31 percent of your gross monthly income?
Those are the general requirements for one or both plans. Keep in mind the program will not reduce the amount you owe.
Your mortgage “service provider” isn’t required to participate in the plan unless it is receiving bailout money.
If you’re going to go through the process of getting mortgage help, I’d like to chronicle your journey. Please get in touch with me.
About the blogger
Bob Collins has been with Minnesota Public Radio since 1992, emigrating to Minnesota from Massachusetts where he was vice president of programming for Berkshire Broadcasting Company. Previously, he was an editor at the RKO Radio network in New York, and WHDH Radio in Boston. He was the founder of MPR News’ website.