Making Sense of the Home Affordable Programs
On March 1st, the Government extended the Home Affordable Refinancing program to June 2011 to help those borrowers refinance at a lower interest rate than what is on their mortgage. The program was intended to help the 5 million borrowers, but in reality, it has helped only about 200,000. This extension will allow borrowers extra time to apply to get refinancing lower their payments to prevent them from defaulting and risk to be foreclosed upon. This program is set to expire in June 2011. Take into account that at the end of the month, the Fed will stop purchasing mortgage back securities. As a result, interest rates will most likely increase.
Not to be confused, the Government just announced the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative (HAFA) that will go into effect on April 5th.
George Geronsin comments, “The last thing a borrower wants is to be foreclosed upon. It is equivalent to filing for bankruptcy. If they are foreclosed upon, they will not be qualified to buying a home for at least 5 years. In addition, the borrower will receive a bill for taxes on the loss.”
Borrowers should not just depend on the lender to process their loan modification. There is another option for them. While in the process of getting a loan modification, owners can also engage in a “short sale.” A short sale is when a underwater borrower, one who owes more money than what the homes is worth, list their home for sale with a real estate agent and works with the bank to sell the home for a loss with the bank writing off the loss.
With HAFA, there are a few incentives to engage in a short sale
- Less damaging credit rating – Borrowers can qualify to purchase another home in two years
- Up to $1,500 Relocation assistance
- Up to $1,000 incentive for the 1st and 2nd mortgage lender
Carole Geronsin, a seasoned listing agent who previously manged all the Chase’s REOs for California, further explains, “If a borrower is going to engage in a short sale, it is very important for them to list their home with the right listing agent who has experience and in depth knowledge of short sales. In addition, the agent needs to know how to market the home and get a buyer. From experience, the time frame to get a short sale approved will depend on who the lender is and if there is a 2nd mortgage.”
Watch this clip on from the NBC’s Today Show.