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Refinance programs may provide underwater mortgage relief Atlanta, GA

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Refinance programs may provide underwater mortgage relief

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As the housing market has struggled to recover from the crash that sent home values spiraling downward, the federal government has introduced several programs that would allow homeowners to refinance their mortgages at the current historically low interest rates. However, for the millions of homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages (meaning they owe more on their mortgage than the home is worth), these options have not been available.

That may soon change, however, with some new reforms to the federal Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). HARP was launched back in 2009, with the goal of allowing homeowners with little or no home equity to refinance at lower interest rates and minimize their monthly mortgage payments and likelihood of going into foreclosure. Previously, homeowners with no equity would not have been able to refinance.

However, banks were hesitant to participate in HARP. Under the original program, a Fannie Mae- or Freddie Mac-guaranteed mortgage loan, which a loan must be to qualify for HARP, must meet certain standards. If it does not meet those standards and the homeowner defaults, the bank would be forced to buy that loan back. Clearly, this was a costly proposition for banks, so they generally declined to participate.

The new reforms, which were made in response to pressure from Georgia Senator Jonny Isakson and several other lawmakers, eliminate that so-called buy-back risk, significantly minimizing the potential for loss to banks and mortgage lenders. As a result, it is projected that several million underwater homeowners may now qualify for refinancing under HARP.

One remaining requirement of HARP is that homeowners must have taken out their loans prior to June 2009. Regulators believe this will significantly decrease the likelihood that there will be errors in the loan’s underwriting.

Source: ProPublica, “Surprise on Refi Revamp: Key Regulator Agrees to Major Program Reforms,” Paul Kiel, Oct. 24, 2011

Posted on behalf of Gingold & Gingold

1718 Peachtree St NW, #385
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They did an excellent job with my case. Jamie took the time to really listen and understand things. She delved into the details and was extremely knowledgeable and non judgmental. Very professional and they know what they are doing. Would definitely recommend!

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I cannot say enough about this law firm. From the initial consultation to our discharge, the entire office kept me updated with every step of the entire process. I came to the Gingold after a bad experience with another law firm. Ira and Jamie immediately began treating me like family through this experience. In the end, they assisted with eliminating many debts including my 2nd mortgage. I cannot say enough about the experience and knowledge that Ira brought to the table from the office visits to the court time. Thank you very much for helping me through this tough time. Thank you.

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