Free Making Home Affordable Housing Counselors
by Julie R. in Livermore, California
Ask Kate about using free Making Home Affordable Housing Counselors to escalate HAMP mortgage loan modification help: Hi Kate, My HAMP terms are adversely affected because they claim I make too much money. But this is because they are grossing up my non-employment, non-taxable income by 125%.
I have a FNMA mortgage and was disabled at age 50 in 2007. Thank you.
Kate Answers: Making Home Affordable Housing Counselors
I've recently heard from several homeowners like you who do not qualify to modify their mortgages under Making Home Affordable's HAMP plan because they make too much money.
It's especially hard to swallow when their income is being artificially increased to meet guidelines.
Calculating Debt Ratios with Non-Employment Non-Taxable Income
Now why would lenders increase income? For many disabled and retired people, their income is not taxed by the government. Yet the mortgage approval process calculates debt ratios based on pre-tax dollars (except for the self-employed).
So to be fair and equal to non-taxed borrowers, lenders add an equivalent sum to their income, had it been taxed. This is called grossing-up. In fact, many disabled people or retirees have qualified for mortgages expressly due to the grossing-up of non-taxable income.
Of course, their income is not actually increased. This is merely an on-paper action used to calculate debt ratios consistently among taxed and non-taxed borrowers alike.
But for mortgage programs such as HAMP with income limitations, the same guideline, originally created out of fairness, becomes a noose around the neck of borrowers with non-taxable income. Many in this category are assigned higher monthly house payments. Others are turned down altogether for HAMP.
So what is the recourse for these borrowers who have hit a brick wall?
Contact Free Making Home Affordable Housing Counselors
If the loan servicer is getting nowhere fast on your HAMP modification, here is how to escalate your case and get personalized help! Place a free call to Making Home Affordable Housing Counselors at 888-995-HOPE (4673) and be sure to mention MHA
Yes, you can now call 888-995-HOPE (4673) around-the-clock with individual eligibility questions about the Making Home Affordable Program. That means 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year!
This will be your opportunity to discuss what is standing in your way of getting an affordable HAMP modification. In addition to reporting what you might feel is unfair, ask for alternate solutions.
Before Calling the Live Housing Experts
But to make the most of your phone call with a Making Home Affordable Housing Counselor, gather the following information and paperwork from all borrowers on your mortgage, as applicable:
- Mortgage statements for your home.
- Mortgage statements for other financed real estate.
- Last 2 pay stubs.
- Last 2 years W2s and 1099s.
- Last 2 years tax returns.
- Year-to-date profit and loss statement, if self-employed.
- Current alimony, child support, and social security award letters.
- Unemployment insurance letter.
- Last 2 bank statements for checking, savings, and other asset accounts.
- Utility bill showing your name and home address.
- Balances and minimum payments of credit card accounts.
- A letter describing job loss, divorce, illness, or other hardship.
Feel uneasy about making the call? Give it a try. You can expect promptly-answered calls from live housing experts. By the way, help is available in over 160 languages.
Good luck and best wishes,
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