Having Trouble Repaying your Loan? Help is Out There

First, the Bad News

Americans would pretty much have to have their heads in the sand not to know that the country is experiencing a foreclosure crisis unlike any we’ve seen in our lifetime. Four years after the crash, the federal government remains under enormous pressure to help stem the wave of foreclosures that continue to sweep across the nation.

 The numbers don’t lie: RealtyTrac data show lenders filed a record 3.8 million foreclosures in 2010, which is a 2% from 2009 and a 23% increase from 2008. Sadly, 2011 is expected to be worse.

John Prior of HousingWire wrote:

Blockquote>>>RealtyTrac follows filings across the country that include notices of default, scheduled auctions and REO. The number in 2010 would have been higher were it not for the foreclosure moratoria banks announced in October when employees were found to be signing and filing affidavits improperly in what has become known as the robo-signing scandal. RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio said as many 250,000 foreclosures will likely be resubmitted and added to the numbers for 2011. <end

Now, the Good News

But not all parts of the country are just giving up. Administered by Fannie Mae, the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) offers alternatives to filing a foreclosure. Since its inception, the program has helped over 600,000 homeowners modify their loans.

Still, millions more are still in danger. This is where the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD)new Emergency Homeowner’s Loan Program to the rescue of many distressed homeowners, offering a new loan, interest free, that would not have to be paid back if the homeowner made payments on it for five years without falling behind.  That program has now expired, but HUD is still working to help families in danger of losing their homes.

Federal Housing Association Service Center

According to its website, this newly set-up support has the following mission:

Blockquote>>The goal of HUD’s National Servicing Center (NSC) is to work with FHA homeowners and their FHA lenders to find creative solutions to avoid foreclosure. NSC staff also provide direction and training to mortgage lenders and Housing Counseling Agencies, who are then better able to provide assistance to homeowners.<end

One of many programs offered under the NSC is the “Hardest Hit Fund.” President Obama established the Hardest Hit Fund in February 2010 to provide targeted aid to families in states hit hard by the economic and housing market downturn. Each state housing agency gathered public input to implement programs designed to meet the distinct challenges struggling homeowners in their state are facing. States were chosen either because they are struggling with unemployment rates at or above the national average or steep home price declines greater than 20 percent since the housing market downturn.

Homeowners in areas that are not considered “hardest hit” can get help with loss mitigation and loan servicing.

Additional Resources

Overall, the point is that though you may feel alone facing foreclosure, you are anything but.