Making Home Affordable Program Help
HAMP Loan Modification, HARP 2 Refinance, HAFA Foreclosure Alternatives

Welcome to Ask Kate's independent Making Home Affordable Program help. With a marked downturn in the economy or loss of a job, homeowners who never dreamed of missing a house payment, suddenly began to live under the threat of foreclosure.

Another group of borrowers, wanting to take advantage of plummeting rates discovered that their homes, once overflowing in equity, were now underwater. In other words, they shockingly owed more than their homes were worth.

Click a link to skip the intro and go directly to Ask Kate letters: Mortgage News | Newest Ask Kate Letters | HARP 2.0 | HARP 3 | HAMP 2 | FHA RefinanceShort Sale | Foreclosure Alternatives | Strategic Default

With these scenarios as a backdrop, the Obama Administration along with the Departments of the Treasury & Housing and Urban Development initiated the official Making Home Affordable Program in 2008, beginning with HAMP loan modifications and HARP refinances. Due to the unprecedented need to stabilize US housing, the program expanded to include HARP 2.0 refinance, HARP 3 proposals, HAMP tier 2 loan modification, and FHA short refinance (which never got off the ground).

Alert! The HARP refinance and HAMP modification programs end December 2016.

For the extreme distressed came Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure, and deed for lease.

Additionally, the unemployment program (UP), hardest hit funds (HHF), second lien modification program (2MP), and principal reduction alternative (PRA) were created as strategies to address the housing collapse that took the US by storm.

The problem is, MHA programs are complicated and difficult to understand.

Making Home Affordable Independent Help

But no worries. I'm your guide to understanding HAMP, HARP, HAFA, UP, HHF, PRA, FHA, VA, USDA, and 2MP with the goal of helping you reach affordable monthly house payments.

Here's a little background on the two most common programs, HAMP and HARP. The new HARP 2.0 helps homeowners who make payments on time but can't refinance due to a loss of equity in their homes. HAMP assists struggling homeowners with a loan modification due to hardships (for example, interest rate increase or decrease in income) that cause unaffordable monthly house payments.

Best Mortgage Rate Blog - Where to get announcements! Super Kate brings you breaking New HARP 2.0, HAMP Phase 2, and Making Home Affordable news and solutions for underwater mortgages at her blog. Bookmark it for easy return.

Mortgage News Overviews

  1. April 2016 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Principal Reduction Program - If your home's financing is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you may be one of 33,000 distressed homeowners eligible for a reduction of your mortgage balance.
  2. February 2016 NACA Protects Mortgage Borrowers - Holding big box lenders' feet to the fire, NACA leads protests straight to the front door of bankers' homes. See if NACA can help you restructure your current mortgage or get a new home buyers' loan.
  3. December 2015 Bank of America $17 Billion Mortgage Settlement - In August 2014, Bank of America was clobbered by the Department of Justice with a $17 billion penalty for its role in inflating the housing bubble. But what can you do if your mortgage has slipped between the cracks?
  4. September 2015 Fannie Lowers Rates and Freddie Improves Ratios - Besides news of lower interest rates and friendlier qualifying ratios, read Lin's question who believes his bank is employing tricks to avoid modifying his mortgage.
  5. September 2015 New Foreclosure Time Frames in 33 States Offer Hope - Oregon is the biggest winner, receiving a whopping 480 day increase to the time allotted between the due date of the last mortgage payment and the foreclosure sale. See if your state benefits!
  6. June 2015 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau News - To put their mark on history, the CFPB is altering compliance dates and threatening lenders with hefty fines. Yet they missed their own deadline for filing with Congress.
  7. June 2015 California Owes Millions to Struggling Borrowers - From loan servicing corruption to misappropriated funds, struggling borrowers in the Golden State and perhaps other states may get relief yet!
  8. May 2015 No Sunset for HARP Refinance and HAMP Modification - Making Home Affordable announced that HAMP and HARP programs will be extended through December 31, 2016, giving the opportunity for affordable mortgages to thousands of homeowners.
  9. February 2015 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Principal Reduction Rumors - Mel Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), is re-considering eligibility for principal reductions on behalf of borrowers with mortgages backed by Fannie and Freddie.
  1. December 2013 Mel Watt Now Confirmed by Senate for FHFA Post! - Mel Watt will replace Ed DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. DeMarco is commonly regarded by struggling borrowers as the Ebenezer Scrooge of homeownership.
  2. November 2013 JPMorgan Mortgage Settlement - Borrowers who financed homes before January 1, 2009 with JPMorgan, Bear Stearns, or Washington Mutual should know about the $4 billion earmarked in the mortgage relief settlement.
  3. October 2013 HARP 2.0 Mortgage Program Guidelines and News - HARP 2.0 refinance qualifications for homeowners faced with negative equity, what it means to you, and how you can benefit. Presented without the lingo and organized for easy reference.
  1. February 2013 National Mortgage Settlement - After nationwide mortgage servicers committed fraud by illegally foreclosing on homes, they were fined $25 billion to help end the mortgage crisis. Update! Borrowers who lost their homes in foreclosure also to receive funds!
  2. Special Edition Making Home Affordable Options - Super Kate's overview of 13 options from Making Home Affordable to help homeowners with unaffordable payments and fallen property values.

NEWEST Questions and Answers at Ask Kate

Mortgage Loan Servicer Violates Code of Ethics - I have been trying to get a modification from my mortgage servicer for over two years now. There always seems to some mistake in their paperwork. Is there any way I can force them to put things in writing and to explain the calculations (that are $80,000 too high) behind the modification?

Can I Switch Mortgage Lenders After HARP Refi - Vanessa was turned down for HARP by her current lender. Can she try for approval with a different company? I also answer Tina's question about losing her primary home or truck if she defaults on a HARP loan for her rental. Will wants to know the number of times someone can refinance under the HARP program.

Compare No-Cost HARP Refinance Program to Traditional Refi - Wells Fargo offered Maria a 20-year HARP streamline refinance with no fees. But another lender offered a traditional refi with a lower interest rate. Learn how Maria can compare to decide on the better deal.

HAMP Mortgage Modification and Loan Servicer Misfires - Helen is close to foreclosure because the bank raised her payment in error - $600 a month. Why? To pay property taxes on land she doesn't own! Even worse, they refuse to refund the money.

Will Unemployment Forbearance (UP) Increase Mortgage Payments - Should AJ be concerned about re-paying the mortgage payments suspended during unemployment forbearance? During Leonor's awkward conversation with her lender, she discoverd they are trying to double-collect her 2nd mortgage payments through loan servicing and a collection agency.

Inconsistent Mortgage Modification Requirements for Spouses - While Amy's ex-spouse has gotten the bank to do three loan modifications, they never once asked Amy for consent. Ted has a VA mortgage and became a few months behind. The bank is requiring his non-borrowing spouse to sign the modification documents.

2nd Lien Mortgage Modification Payment Spikes After 5 Years - Mike's concern is how much his payment will spike after 5 years on the proposed 2nd mortgage modification (2MP). Is this a fair 2MP offer, he asks.

HAMP Loan Modification: Principal Forbearance vs Principal Forgiveness - My debt counselor said that I would be eligible for forgiveness in three years if I didn't default on the new loan; and I paid it without any default. I thought I was heading in the right direction. I thought wrong.

New Twist: How to Modify Your Mortgage Without an Ex-Spouse - Fannie Mae does not require an ex-spouse to sign modification documents as long as they are no longer on title, even if they are still a borrower. But what happens when the ex-spouse was never on the mortgage but was required by the state to be on title? Keep reading for the answer...

Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0) Questions

Tip: Here is where you will find you are not alone when it comes to questions about HARP II.

HARP Refinance: Surprise Cost to Lock a Mortgage Rate - Lori and her husband are about to refi under the Harp Program. Their lender is requiring a credit card payment of $750. Lori didn't know there would be a fee to lock in a rate under HARP and asks if it's legitimate.

HARP Refi Program: Rates, Roofs, and 2nd Mortgages - Can the cost of a new roof be included in your HARP refinance? Can you pay off a 2nd mortgage by rolling it into your HARP loan? Do HARP guidelines allow 15, 20, and 30 year mortgage terms? Is a home on leased land eligible for HARP?

HARP Refinance Denied Due to Late Mortgage Payment Following HAMP Modification- Doug's lender tells him if there is one late mortgage payment during the 12 months following a loan modification, no matter how long ago, he can't refinance with HARP. Vicki divorced her husband who just accepted a 25-year plea deal. So she will not be receiving child support. Three months late on house payments, she asks about HARP.

HAMP and HARP Options: VA Home Loans and Mobile Homes - Although Peggy and her husband never missed their VA house payment, their underwater mortgage is not eligible for HARP. Marie can't figure out how to get a more affordable payment on their manufactured home.

Does Fannie or Freddie Own My Mortgage Loan - I'm told I don't qualify for HARP because my mortgage is not owned by Fannie or Freddie. When I asked who owns my mortgage, they told me, "We don't know." How can this be?

Underwater HARP Refinance, Fees, and Loan Subordination - Homeowners ask HARP questions: Who pays the closing costs, how to determine if refinancing is worth the cost, can a 2nd mortgage be refinanced, and options for non-Fannie Mae and non-Freddie Mac underwater mortgages.

Revision! New HARP 2 Refinance Eligibility Date! - You can imagine the outcry of struggling homeowners after being hit with falling real estate values to learn they missed qualifying for HARP due to the tardiness of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

HARP Interest Rates and Underwater 2nd Mortgages - Meet Bill, satisfied with his HARP refinance, who needs to refinance his 2nd mortgage. Jennifer and Stephanie both question the interest rates and fees on their HARP Good Faith Estimates. But lastly is Patricia. Her letter leaves me feeling our banking system has sadly failed her family and her home.

Relevant HARP 2.0 Refinance Solutions - Meet 6 homeowners with insightful HARP 2 questions regarding underwater refinancing alternatives, loan limits, PMI obstacles, where to find reputable home loan professionals, and uncooperative 2nd lien holders who won't subordinate.

HARP 2 Refinance and Clueless Loan Servicers - Shop for HARP lenders to refinance your mortgage! That's what I told Greg whose mortgage is serviced by Citi. In spite of their size, Citi's budget for HARP training must be non-existent. Meet Margaret. Why does her loan servicer feel the need for secrecy?

HARP Loan Program and 2nd Mortgage Refinancing - Mike has been denied twice by Wells Fargo even though he is current on his 1st and 2nd liens. Charleen can't refinance her interest-only second even though she has reduced the balance by $13,000. Another homeowner can't understand why the bank won't subordinate since they are currently in 2nd position.

Your Unique HARP Underwater Refinancing Scenario - Leslie in Phoenix asks about refinancing with the HARP program after mortgage foreclosure. Another homeowner is trying to refinance after her husband's death but she's not on the mortgage. Anthony asks about re-affirming a mortgage after bankruptcy if he uses HARP. He's also considering HAMP modification.

HARP Mortgage Refinance - Your Hopes and Frustrations - I think I've heard it all, the anticipation of saving a beloved family home, the fear of becoming homeless. But as Ask Kate letters continue to pour in, I realize no two situations are the same. I'm humbled at the opportunity to answer your questions. Now meet 4 homeowners struggling to keep their homes.

National Lenders Botch HARP 2 Refinance Loans - Refinancing a mortgage with the HARP 2 program should not be this difficult. Meet Nancy and Marie, both Arizona homeowners, with questions about their frustrating experiences with Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

HARP 2 Program Guidelines vs Infuriating Lender Overlays - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, regulated by FHFA, sets HARP 2 guidelines for Making Home Affordable, an official program of the Departments of the Treasury & Housing and Urban Development. In turn, lenders add requirements, called overlays. Should I ask how many agencies it takes to refinance a mortgage?

New HARP 2 Refinance Program Q and A - Kelly asks why lenders say Freddie Mac doesn't refinance condos and why they aren't willing to take on an underwater mortgage. Lisa asks if an escrow shortage can be paid in her HARP refinance. Lenders tell Terri her Fannie Mae loan is not eligible for HARP because PMI is included in her interest rate.

How to Refinance an Underwater Mortgage - Thousands of homeowners with good credit and timely mortgage payments are still unable to refinance with blockbuster HARP interest rates. Ines asks how she can qualify for affordable monthly house payments in spite of underwater financing.

Fannie Mae Loan Lookup Tool Ignites HARP Glitch - After Jennifer confirms her mortgage is owned by Fannie Mae, she applies to the HARP 2.0 program. But as the loan process is drawing to a close, her refinance comes to a screeching halt. The lender is claiming Jennifer's mortgage was never backed by Fannie Mae.

Harp 2 No-Income Verifier Refinance Opens Doors - My husband and I both have credit scores in the 800's and he has a steady income. But we have been turned down again and again to refinance through Harp because of our debt to income ratio.

HARP 2 Refinance Embraces No-Income and Reduced Documentation Guidelines - No income got you turned down for HARP? Did your refinance hit a brick wall over large deposits? Can't remove your ex-spouse from your home loan? September 2012, Fannie and Freddie announced reduced documentation for underwater mortgages!

Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0) Questions

Harp 2.0 Condo Financing Trouble - Like Jen from Colorado, you may discover your condominium address at Fannie Mae is incorrect, bringing your loan process to a screeching halt. If so, here are 3 ways to contact Fannie Mae so you can proceed with your HARP refinance plan.

If HARP 2 Refinance Increases Mortgage Payment - HARP will actually raise our payment by $580 a month to a total of $2500. But we have exhausted our savings. It seems foreclosure is the only answer at this point.

HARP 2 Refinancing Rates - What I find most disturbing is that they are offering me the same rate whether I go with 30yr fixed or 20yr fixed and told me that 15yr fixed is not even an option with HARP2. Does this sound right?

HARP Interest Rates and Guidelines - Cindy wants to know who sets refinance rates for the HARP program. Deloris is told refinancing with HARP is going in the wrong direction but thinks it's fishy advice. Cindy's loan was ready to close but received a verbal denial.

Mortgage Reaffirmation after Bankruptcy - Stan's lender said he must reaffirm his current home loan to be approved for HARP. John hasn't missed a house payment in 9 years since his bankruptcy yet his lender is balking because his mortgage has never been reaffirmed.

Three Questions on HARP 2 Refinances and 2nd Mortgages - Can I roll my first and second mortgages together into a new HARP 2 refinance? If my lender won't sign the subordination agreement, can I pay off my 2nd with a credit card? Why can't I refinance after HARP?

Refinancing and HARP 2 Guidelines - Do HARP loans have prepayment penalties? Do they require escrow accounts? Are Fannie and Freddie allowed to have different guidelines. How important is the amount of available credit? Where does the term "original value" come from?

HARP 2 Refinance After Short Sale - I am trying to refinance my first mortgage with my loan servicer under the HARP 2.0 guidelines. They are using Fannie Mae's DU Refi Plus and the problem is a prior short sale over 2 years ago.

Problems with Fannie Mae HARP 2 Loan Lookup - My loan servicer says Fannie Mae owns my mortgage, as does the Loan Look-up on their website. However, when I call to get my servicer some information for HARP II, Fannie Mae says they don't own my loan.

Confusing HARP 2 Refinance Guidelines - We were approved by Loan Prospector for Freddie Mac's Open Access earlier this year and but for a glitch, we would have refinanced. Now we have a lower LTV but are denied on LP for HARP 2.0.

Risky HARP 2 Refinance Plan with 2nd Mortgage Default vs HAMP Alternatives - Is it possible to default on the 2nd mortgage and still keep our home? We heard that we could use the HARP program to refinance our 1st mortgage and then default on the 2nd mortgage.

Gluttonous HARP 2 Mortgage Closing Costs - I'm a real estate investor with a hangover. I'm trying to get one of my legs out of the bear trap of owning too many Single Family Investment Homes. What should we expect to pay in fees?

HARP 2 Program Property Type and Occupancy Status Guidelines- Kenneth asks for occupancy guidelines because he rents out his vacation home condo. N. Craig asks if manufactured housing is one of the HARP 2 property types (single family homes, 2 to 4 units, condominiums, cooperatives, manufactured housing).

Are HARP 2 Mortgages Only for Owner Occupied Homes - Can we use HARP to refinance our rental house? We had purchased a home in Salt Lake County in 2006. Its value has dropped since. Then I had to move out of state for a job.

Comparing HARP 2 Mortgage Lenders Part 2 - Steven wants to refinance his 1st and 2nd mortgages so asks for a list of honest and reliable mortgage lenders. Hugh tells me he has read that HARP 2 guidelines are easier on credit issues, but their loan application can't get by underwriting.

How to Compare HARP 2 Mortgage Lender Part 1 - Where can I find a list of honest HARP 2 mortgage brokers in Metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona? How do I find a Clearwater, Florida lender that participates in HARP 2? How will my home's value be determined? Will I need a full appraisal?

Harp Mortgage Refinance Turned Down - The bank's refusal to refinance his son's mortgage seems to be unreasonable, inexcusable, rotten and dirty treatment. Amy followed the lender's steps yet their HARP application was declined. Patricia needs help in this frustrating quest because her lender is ignoring her.

Not Getting HARP 2.0 Mortgage Loan Approval - Maybe you can give me a straight answer. I should qualify under every criteria of Freddie Mac. My mortgage broker said "No problem" but I was denied anyway. He said a "Caution" was put on the loan but he couldn't get a reason why. Is this right?

HARP 2 Refinance Plan Fails Underwater Mortgages - Kate are you for real? Why aren't you advocating for us? Where is the anger? HARP 2.0 guidelines call for "NO" LTV restrictions. None. Zilch. So why am I and thousands of other homeowners applying for HARP 2.0 mortgage refinancing being denied?

More Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0) Questions

Freddie Mac Making Home Affordable HARP 2 Refinance - Under the new HARP 2.0 guidelines, will I fall under any income requirements for my investment property? Kate, I am sooo confused. Currently I am shopping around and getting so many different responses.

HARP 2 Refinance Program for Underwater Mortgages - Is HARP 2.0 refinancing possible with subprime loans? Does the new HARP program require me to reaffirm my current mortgage after a past bankruptcy?

Why HARP 2 Mortgage Lenders are Inconsistent - I'm struggling to find a HARP 2.0 lender willing to refinance my mortgage. I was turned away because I DON'T have PMI! I am so confused. I thought the criteria for refinancing was very straight forward.

HARP 2 Update and Mortgage Refinance Alternatives - 5 Homeowners ask new HARP 2.0 refinance, HAMP loan modification, FHA streamline refinance, FHA short refinance, proposed Obama streamline refinance, loan-to-value (LTV), lender paid mortgage insurance (LPMI) questions.

Ask Kate for Harp 2 Refinance Plan Update - Have you written your state and federal representatives about your progress (or lack of) with HARP 2 mortgage refinancing? Until homeowners turn up the volume by making their struggles know, not much can change. Now read 5 Ask Kate questions and answers with solutions for HARP struggles.

Unique and New HARP 2 Refinance Plan Questions - My lender insists my loan has lender paid mortgage insurance even though I can prove otherwise! Can I get a HARP refinance without being destitute? Can I refinance with HARP after a short sale on another property?

HARP 2 Mortgage Refinance Roll Out Day One - An estimated 11 million mortgages are underwater. Yet only a fraction have been refinanced. With apparent lender reluctance to "give away the house", homeowners must be tenacious. Here is how Day One rolled out.

Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance for HARP Refinance Update - Go here if you've been told no lenders will touch your HARP refinance because of borrower or lender paid mortgage insurance (BPMI & LPMI).

Updated! New HARP Mortgage Closing Costs Reduced - Kate, We wonder if it's wise to wait until the "new rules" for HARP are issued and fees might be lowered or eliminated. We don't want to pay out closing costs we don't have.

HARP Refinancing with Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance (LPMI) - Ashley, Michael, and Randy each ask an almost identical question - Are mortgages with less than 20% equity and LPMI eligible for consideration under the HARP II?

New HARP 2 Condo Refinancing - Feeling a little trapped by my Lender's "my way or the highway" attitude! We are refinancing under HARP II. Do we have to go with the original bank?

HARP 2 Mortgage Plan Nuts and Bolts - An inside look at HARP 2 refinance rates. Ditto for points. How many HARP refis are allowed? If you're late on a 2nd mortgage, can you still do HARP? How much equity does HARP 2 require? When will HARP 2 require PMI?

HARP 2 Mortgage Plan Questions - Ask Kate answers rental property, lender paid mortgage insurance, private mortgage insurance, income tax, manufactured housing, time scenarios, approvals, mortgage rates and closing costs HARP refinance questions.

6 New HARP II Refinance Answers - New HARP refinance questions about Expanded Approval, mortgage refinancing costs, interest rates, mortgage rate reduction, subordinating a 2nd mortgage in a HARP transaction, and where to find HARP lenders for Freddie Mac mortgage refinancing.

HARP 2 Refinance Condo Mortgage Rates and Closing Costs - Are condominium interest rates and fees higher? Can my lender require an appraisal under HARP 2? Must I use my current lender?

Who Can Make HARP Monthly Payments on the Mortgage - I don't have a business or license but wanted to know if self-employment income can help me refinance my house with HARP?

Four HARP 2.0 Homeowner Questions and Ask Kate Answers - Can I refinance without an appraisal? Does credit history affect HARP 2.0 interest rates? HARP 2 doesn't have closing costs, right? Can I be removed from a HARP mortgage?

Harp Refinance - Should I Use My Current Lender - We have the chance to refinance the first mortgage through our lender. But could we get a better HARP rate somewhere else?

October 24, 2011 Sweeping Changes to Home Affordable Refinance Program - The Obama Administration with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced major changes to boost much needed refinancing opportunities.

November 15 and updated December 20, 2011 HARP II Eligibility Requirements Announcement - Overview, benefits, features, qualification of HARP II new eligibility requirements that just got easier.

HARP 3 - #MyRefi - RAH, The 4% Mortgage - The Obama Streamline Refinance Program Questions

Tip: Here is where you will find you are not alone when it comes to questions about HARP 3, also know as RAH, The 4% Mortgage, #MyRefi, and Proposed Obama Refinance Plan.

August 2013 Obama Refi Plan to Protect American Dream - President Obama has released an update to the withering HARP 3 proposal, A Better Foundation for Middle Class Homeownership. The plan is to strengthen the housing market and and the same time prevent struggling homeowners from being left behind in the resulting recovery.

February 2013 HARP 3 Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act - Introducing the latest HARP 3 refinance proposal by Senators Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Barbara Boxer of California! The current HARP 2.0 program isn't cutting it. But I still have a beef with this February 2013 plan!

HARP 3 Refinance and Home Buying Mortgage News - President Obama is breathing new life into the HARP 3 proposal and addressing affordable home buying. Geri is hoping the proposed underwater refinance program can rescue her home. Don is still struggling with HARP 2. Ashley asks how she qualify for a bigger mortgage to buy a home.

Ask Kate HARP 3 Refinance Update - 5 homeowners ask Kate if there's any update on the HARP 3 refinance. Their mortgage problems range from Fannie Mae delays to credit unions breaking the golden rule of customer service, with tripling house payments, 2nd mortgages, and jumbo loans in-between.

Could FHA Loan Limits Impact HARP 3 Refi - Kate, you indicated according to the White House that HARP 3 loan amounts would be governed by current FHA limits in an area. Would the limit be based on my original loan amount or current mortgage balance?

January 2013 HARP 3 Petition Makes National Mortgage News - Make a difference in underwater refinancing! Lend support and make changes in Washington DC by signing the HARP 3 petition by Marcus John at We the People to extend the arbitrary HARP cutoff date and more.

December 2012 Breaking Mortgage News: New HARP 3 Refinance Program Proposal - It's no secret that mortgages not backed by the government are having a tough time refinancing into lower interest rates. Yet President Obama's newest HARP 3 proposal could benefit 12 million homeowners.

July 2012 Rebuilding American Homeownership - The 4% Mortgage by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley tackles the national problem of underwater mortgages. An offshoot of the pending HARP 3, RAH proposes refinancing using traditional and innovative mortgage programs.

June 2012 #MyRefi - HARP 3 - Simplify Refinancing - The White House announces its intentions to simplify mortgage refinancing and cut through red tape, even if your underwater mortgage is NOT owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. A further step toward implementing HARP 3.

Hopeful HARP 3.0 Mortgage Refinance News - President Obama's proposal for HARP 3 streamline refinance of underwater mortgages.

Is HARP 3.0 Fact or Fiction - Also known as Obama Refinance Plan of February 2012. Get details on the President's proposed streamline refinance plan for homeowners restricted from using Making Home Affordable HARP refinance.

Ask Kate about Proposed Obama Refinance Plan - During his State of the Union Address, Blueprint for an America Built to Last, President Obama revealed his proposed broad base refinance plan, claiming no more red tape or run around.

Home Affordable Loan Modification Program (HAMP Tier 2) Questions

Tip: Here is where you will find you are not alone when it comes to questions about mortgage loan modification.

December 2014 Large Financial Incentives to Benefit HAMP Borrowers - Due to rising interest rates for homeowners in the 5th year of the HAMP modification program, Making Home Affordable is offering new financial and cash incentives to keep down default rates.

June 2013 HAMP Loan Modification Scheme Exposed - When lenders participate in HAMP as a means to foreclose on struggling homeowners, they'd be wise to watch out for whistle blowers in their midst! This flagrant Bank of America practice of going through the motions with no intent to modify mortgages is now public!

June 2012 HAMP Phase 2 Mortgage Modification News - Finally! Details of HAMP Phase 2 loan modifications featuring interest rate and principal reductions for underwater mortgages not necessarily owned by Freddie or Fannie.

Free Making Home Affordable Housing Counselors Escalate Help - Have you hit a brick wall with your loan servicer for your Making Home Affordable mortgage plan? Discover your recourse and get help here.

How to Get Fannie Mae's Help to Modify Your Mortgage - If your loan servicer is difficult to deal with during the mortgage loan modification process, did you know Fannie Mae wants to get involved? If you have a home loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, stop putting up with an uncooperative lender!

HAMP Tier 2 Modifications for Rental Properties - Mortgage lenders should not be in the dark which is why I am disgusted with the explanation D.L. was given for their modification denial. Besides that, I think it's disgraceful for an underwriter to have so little understanding of mortgage lending process as to claim the computer just 'spit' out a decision.

Help for Hardship Loan Modification Process - Johanna's lender is using blatant delay tactics to discourage her from modifying her mortgage. Jared asks if his mom should modify or refinance her mortgage. Because Jill's social security disability income is being cut back, she needs an affordable mortgage to avoid foreclosure.

Why Won't My Lender Modify My Mortgage - Mark needs an in-house modification because his lender does not participate in Making Home Affordable. Ray's medical hardship is being ignored. Here's how to talk to your loan servicer.

Solving Your HAMP Loan Modification Predicament - Sonia wonders what she should know before modifying her mortgage since she's in the middle of a divorce. Eric asks who he can contact after his lender raised his permanent payment following the trial HAMP period. Shelba wants to know if she can still modify her mortgage should her husband lose his job after their FHA streamline refinance.

Best Mortgage Modification Strategies - Elaine is approved for HAMP but wonders after consulting an attorney if she should to dump the house. Daisy's request to modify her mortgage was turned down due to a family inheritance. Lee's servicer participates in HAMP but not for rental properties. Is Karen required to pay HAMP modification closing costs?

Repercussions in Hardship Loan Modification Process - Unintended and unwelcome consequences, the dread of repercussion sums up Jon's current dilemma. He asks how much his credit score will suffer if he misses 3 mortgage payments to gain the attention of his loan servicer. Another homeowner's modification is denied over the value of a 2001 pickup truck.

Mortgage Modification Snags and Insults - After Susan worked with Wells Fargo for 9 months on her HAMP modification, the final offer was $13.00 less than her original payment. Anita was devastated even though her modification was granted! You'll see why in a moment. Ms Jackson hopes for alternatives to deed-in-lieu and short sale after her modification denial.

Will Fannie Mae Ever Allow True Mortgage Loan Modifications - Meet a tenacious underwater homeowner struggling to keep her home out of foreclosure. She asks if they should give up since they owe $350,000 more than the appraised value.

No HAMP Principal Reduction Alternative (PRA) for Fannie Mae Mortgage - Kate, why do underwater mortgages other than Fannie or Freddie (GSE) loans receive Principal Reductions under HAMP? Will Harp 3.0 help us Fannie Mae backed loans?

Beware of HAMP Hardship Loan Modification Scams - If you are a homeowner struggling to make ends meet, beware of scams offering to modify your mortgage for a fee. Meet Richard who wisely questions paying $3500 to a debt advocacy organization in response to a loan modification offer.

How to Modify Your Mortgage Terms - Pam is uncomfortable with the terms of her HAMP loan modification. Scott needs an affordable house payment after kidney failure reduces his income. Mary can't finalize the HAMP modification because of her co-borrower. Topsy-turvey advice for HARP refi, HAMP modification, and FHA streamline refinancing has confused Eddie.

HAMP Modification Refusal with 4 Major Hardships - Is there a program for those of us with a hardship who need a modified program but are not underwater? I have tried everything, more than 100 faxes, 500 pages of supplied and resupplied documents and after more than 2 years, they tell me I can't be helped.

Underwater Real Estate Investor Loans - Danny's banker says he has too many investment properties for HARP 2. Kimberly is considering to move into their townhouse before a HARP refinance. Jeff asks if closing costs can be rolled into a rental mortgage. Banyan asks about fixed rate HAMP Tier 2 loan modifications for rentals.

Compare HAMP Modification to HARP Refinance Program - I've just started the process for HAMP or HARP, not sure which yet. We're underwater on a ARM. I am wondering with the election coming up if this is a bad time to apply?

HAMP Mortgage Modification, Options, and Alternatives - Antonio is perplexed over new HAMP tier II guideline requiring delinquent payments for rental properties. Mara's afraid she won't be able to make her house payments much longer. Emory's friends suggest he strategically defaults on his mortgage. Donna doesn't know who to trust for modification information.

Mortgage Alternatives to HARP 2 Refinance Roadblocks - Meet 3 homeowners with HARP refinancing difficulties. Rick asks about hiring a debt negotiator to work with his bank. For Jan, there's MHA Unemployment Program and getting past the max HARP 2 debt ratio. For Lori, her answer to an affordable payment for her underwater duplex rental may be Tier 2 HAMP.

Four HAMP Loan Modification Options vs Waiting for HARP 3 - I am struggling to hang on to my home. When is Harp 3 expected? How will my ability to refinance with be affected if my ex-husband files bankruptcy on our 2nd mortgage?

HAMP Tier 2 Modifications Offer Hope - Family illnesses? Loss of primary jobs? Rising cost of living on fixed incomes? Unrealistic mortgage modification payments? Low credit scores? The 2nd phase of Making Home Affordable Modification Program spells another chance.

HAMP Tier 2 Help for Underwater Mortgages - To avoid further foreclosures among American households struggling with debt and underwater mortgages, MHA announced phase II for Home Affordable Loan Modification Program, effective June 1, 2012.

HAMP Tier 2 Mortgage Modification News - Details of HAMP Phase 2 loan modifications featuring interest rate and principal reductions for underwater mortgages not necessarily owned by Freddie or Fannie.

When Home Affordable Modification Program says No - I've missed 3 mortgage payments. I'm disabled, my wife has cancer and HAMP says my income is too high. Where can I turn for help?

Is HARP 2.0 or HAMP Mortgage Modification Best - Although Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0) and Home Affordable Loan Modification Program (HAMP) sound similar, they actually meet two different needs. Discussed previously on, readers are asking for additional key elements to better understand their options.

Home Affordable Loan Modification Program (HAMP) Questions

Mortgage Modification: Debt, Divorce, Assumption
 - Marc's mortgage modification request was turned down due to $25,000 in savings. Should he reduce his cash reserves by paying off debt to secure loan approval? Stephanie inherited the house, was awarded it in the divorce, and made the payment for 5 years following loan modification. But can she assume the mortgage to remove her ex?

HAMP Modification Confusion: How to Untangle Your Bank's Offer - Lola was recently approved for another HAMP but asks why did the loan servicer did not offer a principal reduction. Julie's HAMP interest rate is about to climb, nearing the 5 year mark. The extra amount will be a stretch so she asks if she should re-apply or leave things alone. I have good news for her!

New HAMP Incentives Benefit Homeowners Big Time - Besides news on incentives for struggling homeowners, Shannon asks if her friend should quit-claim the house to his ex-wife during a modification. Lucia asks if it's true that the only way to modify the 2nd mortgage is by applying for HAMP a second time for her 1st mortgage

Clearing HAMP Mortgage Modification Hurdles - Can Craig choose any lender for his modification? Will Pamela's lender be willing to modify the mortgage on her rental home that she converted to a daycare? Claire cannot afford her house payment this month. What is her first step?

Loan Servicer Bungles Hardship Loan Modification Process - Mel has a legitimate gripe with her loan servicer who took 3 years to deny her loan modification. Mike has an enormous 2nd mortgage compared to his 1st. I share ideas that can get them both on the road to affordable monthly house payments.

Convince a Mortgage Company to Modify Your Loan - It will be easier to coax your loan servicer into modifying your mortgage if you keep in mind that lenders have been forced by the government into the HAMP program. Regardless, here is how to increase your mortgage modification success.

HAMP Loan Principal Reduction Questions - Steve asks if he'll be required to pay back the principal reduction after modifying a mortgage through the HAMP program. Guy is running out of options for financing his underwater rental property retained in his divorce.

Mortgage Assumption AFTER HAMP Mortgage Modification - I signed a divorce agreement, which requires me to remove my husband from the mortgage. I was told that after the loan modification was complete, my husband would be removed from the mortgage. But now, I am going in circles.

HAMP Mortgage Rate Reduction and Modification - We had already tried for a loan modification but after almost 2 years of no call backs and not telling us they lost our paperwork, they didn't do anything for us. Any advice?

Caught In A Balloon Payment Mortgage - Our mortgage company offered us two options during the course of the loan modification, either bring loan current or a mod with the following terms...

Is HAMP A Negative Amortization Loan - I do qualify for HAMP which will ultimately reduce my current mortgage payment by half. Does this create negative amortization? Will I end up further in debt?

Relief Refinance Mortgage and Open Access - I heard about relief refinance mortgage programs but my own bank does not know about it. Are they pulling my leg?

HAFA Deed in Lieu, Deed for Lease, Real Estate Short Sale & Strategic Default Questions

Tip: Here is where you will find you are not alone when it comes to questions about deed in lieu, deed for lease, short sale, and strategic default.

Mortgage Relief and Military Hardship Resources - Homeowners in the military face unique hardships. But special resources including HARP 2, HAMP, repayment and forbearance plans, military help lines, and HAFA are available to reduce underwater mortgage struggles.

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure: How to Negotiate with Your Lender - After Wayne's lender agreed to a deed in lieu of foreclosure (DIL), they required $13,000 from him to move forward. Zoie's bank is ignoring her DIL application even though the 2nd mortgage lender has agreed to sign a statement of satisfaction.

Hardest Hit Funds Principal Reduction Program - I am no longer able to work and my monthly benefits are insufficient to pay the previous 15 year mortgage. I am not positive but have a bad feeling the servicer is killing time before saying you are now under foreclosure.

Keep your Home California Principal Loan Reductions - To achieve affordability, learn how homeowners with economic hardships and underwater mortgages receive reductions to their loan balances via Principal Reduction Alternative (PRA) and dedicated state programs, such as Keep Your Home California.

Is HAFA's $10,000 Relocation Payment Irresponsible? - Should the banks be paying people hard cash to walk away from their homes after months of not making house payments or receive forgiveness of the mortgage deficiency after HAFA short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure?

Short Sale vs Mortgage Foreclosure - The Agony of 21st Century Homeownership - Hello, Kate. Gosh, you're a Godsend. This a very personal inquiry. I have been up to my eyeballs in trouble with my mortgage company -- which happens to be one of the BIG BANKS. You may know the one -- SUPER greedy, SUPER rich and SUPER incompetent.

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure - The mortgage crisis is ongoing in many parts of our country. Florida is certainly not fully recovered. Mary, desperate for help after deeding the family home back to the bank, is on the verge of homelessness.

Choosing Short Sale Over Foreclosure - Making Home Affordable is pushing for short sales, calling it the responsible action for distressed homeowners. Banks claim would-be borrowers will become eligible for mortgage approval more quickly if they use the short sale process vs foreclosure. So, it's absurd that lenders tarnish the credit of distressed homeowners who are trying to avoid foreclosure.

Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure and $10,000 HAFA Relocation Assistance - Meet Trevor who tells his accidental discovery while applying for a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, one of the Making Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) that includes $10,000 to help with transitioning to a new home.

Home Loan Approval after Short Sale Process - In spite of claims that selling your home for less than your loan balance is better than mortgage foreclosure, there are no guarantees of smooth sailing afterward. Meet 3 homeowners struggling with refinancing and buying a home after negotiating short sales.

HAUP Mortgage Forbearance for Unemployed Homeowners - Taking the sting out of losing a job, wouldn't you be delighted to find your mortgage payments have been suspended for a year, or even longer. Or what if your monthly house payments were reduced to 31% of your pretax income until your mortgage loan could become permanently modified?

California Short Sale Information and Foreclosure Alternatives - Our home in California has a combined loan-to-value of 240%. We've been denied HAMP and HARP 2.0. Our lender suggests a short sale but will we qualify with our LTV? Also, can we lease back our house after the short sale process?

Strategic Default vs HAFA Deed in Lieu, Deed for Lease, Short Sale Foreclosure Alternatives - HELP! We have never missed a mortgage payment or been late. But why should we pay on a house that is appraised for $100,000 less than we owe? We need the best option.

Short Sale vs Foreclosure - Even with excellent credit, we can't refinance due to previous short sale. Lenders tell us there is nothing they can do for us. Is there a government program for us?

Negotiating a Short Sale after Loan Modification - Will modifying our home loan through Making Home Affordable Program (MHA) hinder our attempts at a real estate short sale in a few months?

Short Sale Process - Should I negotiate our short sale process instead of a Real Estate Attorney? I don't know what would take so long for a Cash transaction? I don't want our credit ruined but I can't continue paying rent and mortgage.

Foreclosure Alternatives or Short Sales - I'm not able to refinance according to my mortgage company. Thinking about foreclosure and/or bankruptcy. Any help would be welcomed.

Real Estate Short Sale - I have extinguished my 401K and am unemployed. I'm living on credit card money and owe the IRS. Should I just start packing?

HARP II Refinance with PMI vs Strategic Default - I've never been a day late on paying my mortgage, I am a perfect fit for HARP, but I'm considering a strategic default.

Strategic Default - What other options do I have? Is foreclosing and walking away feasible? Would the bank renegotiate on a rate?

FHA Refinance Questions

Tip: Here is where you will find you are not alone when it comes to questions about FHA Refinance.

June 2012 FHA Streamline Refinancing - This brings another option for homeowners with underwater mortgages to take advantage of low mortgage rates, avoid an appraisal, and save on mortgage insurance premiums.

FHA Short Refinancing Option for Borrowers with Negative Equity - I'm in the process of refinancing my home with an FHA loan but have come to an impasse with the bank regarding my home equity line of credit. I want to convert to an unsecured loan or credit line. Would you have any creative ideas?

FHA Short Refinance, Obama Refinance Plan, HAMP Loan Modification, HAFA Short Sale and Deed-in-Lieu - There is no refinance program for us. We did everything possible. But if we walk away from our home, we will be sued. What do we do?

Nightmare 401k Withdrawals For Home Buying - Afraid that we would lose the house, I took money from my 401K for the down payment, intending to put it back when we sold the condo. Then real estate bottomed out.

FHA Short Refinance - I am a frustrated responsible home owner with a credit score over 700 but cannot find a mortgage lender that will refinance my first mortgage under the HARP program.

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