A new bill proposed by US senators may offer homeowners an easier path to refinancing and mortgage relief. In light of the proposed bill, mortgage law professionals WT Lee & Associates clarify current options for government-aided refinancing.
In 2009, President Obama introduced the Making Home Affordable (MHA) Program to help homeowners manage mortgages and avoid foreclosure. MHA offerings include refinancing tools, reducing mortgage payments, and financial relief for temporarily unemployed homeowners.
Legal advisors at WT Lee & Associates explain a few notable tenets of the MHA program. As the professionals explain, MHA is designed to enable homeowners to remain in their homes without the threat of foreclosure. MHA was aimed to bring stability to homeowners, to the volatile housing market, and – by extension – to the economy itself.
The mortgage legality professionals at WT Lee & Associates explain that MHA is not a one-dimensional program. The Home Affordable Modification Program or HAMP allows homeowners to attempt more affordable monthly mortgage installments.
HAMP intends to assist homeowners who are unable to successfully refinance due to declining home values. HAMP aims to facilitate loan modification and offer citizens a more dependable and affordable mortgage plan.
The professionals note that the PRA, or Principal Reduction Alternatives, program assists homeowners whose home values dip below what the owners owe on the property.
The President’s January Housing Scorecard claims the MHA is helpful to homeowners and will continue to offer support in 2013. Data indicates 1.4 million less foreclosures in the US since the implementation of the MHA.
According to government sites, the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, is an essential component of the MHA program. The mortgage law professionals at WT Lee & Associates note that HARP is an avenue of assistance for citizens that have been unable to successfully refinance.
HARP was introduced in February of 2009. In 2011, HARP was expanded to eliminate loan-to-value limits for hard-hit homeowners.
On February 7 2013, Senators Barbara Boxer and Robert Mendez introduced the Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act of 2013. The Act would lift the initial loan fees required of HARP homeowners. The Act would create alternatives to the costly home appraisal process required for certain loans. Income and employment verification would no longer be necessary for HARP approval. Homeowners would not have their eligibility affected by employment status or immediate income level. Payment history would become the most significant factor for HARP enrollment if the Act is passed. Mendez and Roberts believe dependable payment records trump concerns over incoming funds and homeowner employment.
If passed in 2013, the Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act would apply to homeowners whose mortgages are backed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Eligible homeowners must be refinancing for the first time under HARP; the Act makes exceptions for 2009 Fannie Mae refinancing. Eligible homeowner mortgages would have to be current with 6 months of payments that are both timely and paid in full.
A government bill-tracking site gives the 2013 Refinancing Act a 51% chance of passing Congressional committees. US homeowners will be waiting to see what 2013 brings for the economy, the housing market, and their opportunities to refinance effectively.
At WT Lee & Associates, experienced legal professionals unite homeowners with comprehensive services and information to secure prosperity and avoid foreclosure. The firm’s areas of expertise include bankruptcy law, real estate assistance, and exploring government avenues for fruitful mortgage management.