Obama's Treasury Loan Modification Guidelines For Homeowners


The Treasury Departments loan modification plan is being offered by lenders and features new, aggressive mortgage terms to qualified homeowners. 4 to 5 million borrowers are expected to apply for relief under President Obama's sweeping plan, called HAMP. Here is some information to help you determine if you are eligible.

The guidelines are standard for everyone, and under the federal plan lenders and servicers will be paid to modify qualified loans using a set formula. The goal is to achieve a new payment that equals just 31% of the household gross monthly income. That figure includes the principal and interest, property taxes, homeowners insurance and any homeowners dues, if applicable. The new mortgage payment will be arrived at by using a sequence of options, in this order:

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Reduce interest rate to as low as 2%, then Extend the loan term to 40 years, and finally if necessary Forebear or defer some principal

The Treasury loan modification plan also includes second loans as well as first trust deeds. Now when the first lien is modified, the second lien will also be eligible for an interest rate reduction to as low as 1%, and in some cases the lender may retire the debt altogether in exchange for a government lump sum settlement. This part of the plan was implemented to encourage homeowners to continue making payments on a home that has lost significant equity.

Participating lenders are required to review every applicant who requests help and determine their eligibility. So, even if you have applied previously you may request and apply for this Treasury Department loan modification plan. You will be asked to complete an application that includes a financial statement outlining your income and expenses. You must also provide proof of you income, including tax returns. A short telephone interview will also be conducted and based on the information you provide, a determination will be made to either approve or deny or application. If you send in a complete application package, you should receive your answer within 30 days.

HAMP has standard approval guidelines, and a 4 step formula is used to determine if the information you provide fits into those guidelines. You can use this very same formula to fine tune your budget so that you have the best chance of fitting the program criteria. You can take a lot of the confusion and frustration out of preparing an acceptable application by using a software program designed just for homeowners. The Loan Mod Quick App software allows you to simply input your income and expenses, and all the calculations are done for you. Your debt ratio, new target payment, new interest rate, disposable income and more are computed automatically. You can see immediately where any adjustments might be needed before your lender reviews your information.

The Treasury Department is also offering loan workout options to those struggling homeowners who are unemployed and who have lost significant equity in their homes due to the housing crisis. This part of the plan will offer temporary relief to give borrowers a chance to find a new job and get back on their feet. Also, if you have at least 9 months of your unemployment benefits remaining, you may be eligible for a loan workout plan.

The secret to success for homeowners needing a loan modification is to prepare your paperwork before contacting your lender. Take the time to work on your financial statement ahead of time, so that you can make any adjustments required to meet the approval guidelines. When you understand what your bank is looking for to approve your loan workout, you will have a much better chance of completing your paperwork correctly.


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