I’m always skeptical of pitches I receive about free mortgage help. There are just SO many scams out there. But this one is legit. And it is free. It’s called the Making Home Affordable Program and it’s a government program that ends soon – in December 2013.
Bizarre facts about foreclosure in the U.S.
- 4 million homeowners are currently facing foreclosure
- 1 in 14 U.S. homeowners has fallen behind on his or her mortgage payment
Here are the basic facts about the mortgage and foreclosure program.
The following info is from my email exchange with a PR rep for the MHA program.
Who is this program primarily geared towards?
The program has been designed to help homeowners who are struggling making their mortgage payments, by giving them options to avoid foreclosure.
What can I tell readers to assure them that MHA is not a scam?
The Making Home Affordable Program (MHA) ® is an official program of the Departments of the Treasury & Housing and Urban Development. It is a critical part of the Obama Administration’s broad strategy to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, stabilize the country’s housing market, and improve the nation’s economy.
The program works closely with NeighborWorks America, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and others as part of the Loan Scam Prevention Network to publicize scam alerts, promote scam prevention efforts, and report suspicious activity.
What are the costs associated with participating in the MHA program?
There is no charge to homeowners seeking help through MHA. We encourage homeowners to work with HUD-approved counseling agencies for free expert advice.
Who is eligible to participate and receive help?
Eligibility criteria have been broadened. Now, homeowners with rental properties and additional homeowners facing a negative change in their finances may be eligible for assistance. As a result, an individual’s eligibility is determined case by case basis. So there are no set requirements. The best option for struggling homeowners is to call the hotline directly and confirm their eligibility. Then provide them the link to the tool and the phone number.
If I’m having problems making payments, when should I apply?
Homeowners should apply for mortgage assistance as soon as they realize they are in need of help. Since the process can sometimes seem complicated, we encourage homeowners to work with HUD-approved housing counseling experts. You can check your basic eligibility for MHA programs by using our interactive eligibility tool and then by contacting your mortgage company.
How do I apply?
Homeowners needing mortgage help can get free expert advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in over 180 languages by calling 888-995-HOPE (4673) and speaking with a HUD-approved housing counselor. And they can visit MakingHomeAffordable.gov for more information about the programs available.
How many hours, approximately, does it take to apply?
The amount of time it takes to apply varies from person to person based on their circumstances.
What year was MHA established?
The Obama Administration on February 18, 2009 announced the MHA program to help struggling homeowners stay in their homes. On March 4, 2009 detailed program guidelines were published by the Administration.
The time it takes to get an answer on your application can vary depending on the circumstances, but once your mortgage company has all of the documentation needed to make a decision on your modification, most servicers can make a decision in 30 days.
Each country has different laws and regulations regarding foreclosure, so it is best to seek advice from professional mortgage advisors, Australian readers should check out Smartline.