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Flex Modification Is A Free Government Program

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There are no credit score requirements in order to be approved for the Flex Loan Modification Program. Since its designed for mortgage borrowers who are behind on payments and in danger of defaulting, its assumed their scores are already quite low. The goal is to make payments more affordable and get borrowers back on track so they can keep their homes. It is important to note that lenders often report mortgage modifications to the credit bureaus, so having one on your report could cause your score to fall after the fact.

Flex Modification Program Replaces Hamp And Harp

The Home Affordable Modification Program was introduced by the federal government in 2009 to help homeowners affected by the mortgage crisis of the early 2000s. The program closed, however, at the end of 2016. The Home Affordable Refinance Program was also created in 2009 to provide additional options for struggling homeowners. HARP was extended several times but the program closed at the end of 2018.

The Flex Modification Program was introduced in 2017 to replace HAMP and HARP. Through the program, eligible borrowers are able to reduce their monthly mortgage payments by about 20 percent. Lenders may do this by capitalizing overdue payments, adjusting interest rates, extending the term of the loan, or forbearing part of the principal balance. Both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae require their lenders to review all mortgages for a Flex Modification when the loans are delinquent by between 90 and 105 days. If your lender does not offer you a Flex Modification, our team can help you apply for the program.

How Flex Modifications Work

The Flex Modification program helps borrowers who have a Fannie Mae- or Freddie Mac-owned loan. This program, which replaces the now-expired Home Affordable Modification Program program, is supposed to reduce an eligible borrower’s mortgage payment by about 20%.

With a Flex Modification, the servicer has to take one or more of the following steps to lower the borrower’s payment:

  • capitalize the overdue amounts
  • adjust the interest rate
  • extend the term of the loan, or
  • forbear some of the principal balance.

Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac require their servicers to review all borrowers for a Flex Modification when the borrower is between 90 and 105 days behind in payments. So, your servicer might offer you this type of modification, even if you don’t apply for it. However, you can also apply, as long as a foreclosure sale hasn’t happened yet. Under federal law, if you submit your complete application more than 37 days before a scheduled foreclosure sale, the foreclosure must be delayed while the application is pending.

For borrowers less than 90 days’ delinquent, the program requires a complete loss mitigation application. For borrowers 90 or more days delinquent, though, the program doesn’t require any borrower documentation.

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Libertyville Lawyers Helping Clients Refinance And Modify Mortgage Loans

Are you struggling to make your mortgage payment every month? Do you still owe far more on your home loan than what your home is worth? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, you need to know that you are not alone. An estimated 4.5 million Americans currently owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, and many owe at least twice what their home is worth.

When you are behind on your mortgage to the point that the loan defaults, you are at risk of foreclosure. Fortunately, however, there are options available that could help you resolve your mortgage debt and protect your home from being taken by your lender. At Newland & Newland, LLP, our team can help you explore possibilities for refinancing, mortgage loan modifications, and mortgage relief programs to keep you in your home and out of foreclosure.

How To Use Government Programs To Help Reduce Your Mortgage Payment

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There are several federal loan modification programs that help homeowners in upside-down mortgages with payment reductions. Understanding how these programs work helps homeowners adjust loans. This makes payments more manageable on homes that are no longer worth what the borrowers paid for them. It also reduces the risk of foreclosure.

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What Is A Mortgage Loan Modification

Simply put, loan modification is a change that lenders make to the terms of an existing mortgage.

Such changes usually are made because the borrower is unable to repay the original loan. Most successful loan modification processes are negotiated with the help of an attorney or a settlement company. Some borrowers are eligible for government assistance in loan modification.

Whats in it for the mortgage company?

Loan modification isnt nearly as costly to the lender as default and/or foreclosure. The mortgage company wants to keep you in the house just as much as you want to stay.

Next Steps When You Need To Modify Your Mortgage

When youre certain theres going to be trouble, contact your mortgage holder immediately, over the telephone or online. Explain your situation and inquire about the available options. Other factors being equal, lenders are more likely to work with at-risk clients who are proactive about their predicament.

Modification applications vary from lender/service to lender/servicer. Most likely, you will be asked to provide proof of your financial hardship some will require a letter explaining your hardship and why a modification is necessary.

Beyond that, be prepared to document your finances in detail, no less than when you applied for your original mortgage.

Some of the information youll be asked to provide:

  • Income: How much you earn, its sources, and other financial resources.
  • Expenses: A record of your spending how much, and where it goes be prepared to categorize
  • Documents: Back up your statements with paystubs , bank and credit card statements, loan agreements, investment reports, recent tax returns and other vital documents.

Just like a mortgage application, a loan modification application can take hours to complete. Once youve gathered the documents and related information which can be time-consuming, even for the well-organized applicant there will be forms to fill out. Also, your lender is likely to be extremely particular about how it wants information formatted.

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Fannie Mae/freddie Mac Plan

In the task at hand to make headway against foreclosures and the depressed housing market. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac entered a new phase on December 9, 2008 for a fast-track program meant to make “hundreds of thousands of mortgages affordable to people who can’t currently meet their monthly payments.”

Through the SMP, servicers may change the terms of a loan to reduce a borrower’s first lien monthly mortgage payment, including taxes, insurance and homeowners association payments, to an amount equal to 38 percent of gross monthly income. The changes in terms may include one or more of the following:

  • Adding the accrued interest, escrow advances and costs to the principal balance of the loan, if allowed by state law
  • Extending the length of the mortgage loan as appropriate
  • Reducing the mortgage loan interest rate in increments of 0.125 percent to an interest rate that is not less than 3 percent. If the new rate is set below the market interest rate, after five years it will step up in annual increments to either the original loan interest rate or the market interest rate at the time of the modification, whichever is lower
  • Forbearing on a portion of the principal, which will require the borrower to make a balloon payment when the loan matures, is paid off, or is refinanced.
  • Federal Housing Agencies And Gses Announce Updates To Covid

    How To Get Loan Modification 2019 Flex Modification
    • Federal Housing Agencies and GSEs Announce Updates to COVID-19 Relief Measures for Mortgage Loan…

    In recent weeks, the US federal housing agencies and government-sponsored enterprises that insure, guarantee, or purchase federally backed mortgage loans covered by Section 4022 of the CARES Act have continued their intense pace of issuing temporary measures, and updates to such measures, intended to implement the Acts provisions applicable to such loans. These actions aim to provide assistance to mortgage loan borrowers facing financial hardship in connection with the COVID-19 outbreak during and after the forbearance period set forth in the Act. The agencies and GSEs also have issued several announcements regarding flexibility for servicers and originators of federally backed mortgage loans to address certain of the unintended consequences of the broad forbearance relief authorized by the Act.

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    Insurance and Purchase of Loans in Forbearance

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    Who Can Qualify For A Home Mortgage Modification

    The top candidates for mortgage modification are homeowners behind on their payments, or in danger of falling behind, and those who are faced with potential foreclosure as a result of unanticipated or unavoidable financial hardship.

    Contributing factors that may spur a home loan modification request include:

    • Unemployment or other loss of income
    • Increased living expenses
    • Death of a family member
    • Disability
    • You are ineligible to refinance
    • You are at least one regular mortgage payment behind or show that missing a payment is imminent.
    • A natural or declared disaster.
    • An uninsured loss of property.

    Lenders almost always examine the borrowers claims and weigh them against the likelihood the customer can fulfill the obligations of the modified loan.

    If a homeowners mortgage is backed by federal agencies or programs, they may be eligible for government mortgage loan modification programs.

    Government mortgage loan modification programs include:

    Some private lenders may be extending relief programs similar to the ones provided in the CARES act.

    What Is The Home Affordable Modification Program

    The Home Affordable Modification Program was a loan modification program introduced by the federal government in 2009 to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure. The program’s focus was to help homeowners who paid more than 31% of their gross income toward mortgage payments. The program expired at the end of 2016.

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    Mortgage Loan Modification Programs

    Your loan modification options will depend on the type of loan you have and what your lender or loan servicer agrees to.

    Conventional loan modification

    Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and private lenders of conventional loans have their own modification programs and guidelines, says Charles Gallagher, a real estate attorney.

    In particular, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae offer Flex Modification programs designed to decrease a qualified borrowers mortgage payment by about 20%.

    Flex Modification typically involves adjusting the interest rate, forbearing a portion of the principal balance, or extending the loans term to make monthly payments more affordable for the homeowner.

    To be eligible for a Flex Modification program, the homeowner must have:

    • At least 3 monthly payments past due on a primary residence, second home, or investment property
    • Or less than 3 monthly payments past due but the loan is in imminent default, meaning the lender has determined the loan will definitely default without modification. This is only an option for primary residences

    Certain hardships can trigger imminent default status for instance, the death of a primary wage earner in the household, or serious illness or disability of the borrower.

    Unemployment is typically not an eligible reason for Flex Modification.

    In addition, governmentbacked FHA, VA, and USDA loans are not eligible for Flex Modification programs.

    FHA loan modification

    VA loan modification

    USDA loan modification

    Who Can Get A Mortgage Loan Modification

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    Eligibility requirements for mortgage modifications vary from lender to lender, but you typically must:

    • Be at least one regular mortgage payment behind or show that missing a payment is imminent.
    • Provide evidence of significant financial hardship, for reasons such as:
      • Long-term illness or disability
      • Death of a family member
      • Natural or declared disaster
      • Sudden increase in housing costs, including hikes in property taxes or homeowner association fees
      • Divorce

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    Payments To Servicers Lenders And Responsible Borrowers

    • The Program will share with the lender/investor the cost of reductions in monthly payments from 38% DTI to 31% DTI.
    • Servicers that modify loans according to the guidelines will receive an up-front fee of $1,000 for each modification, plus âpay for successâ fees on still-performing loans of $1,000 per year.
    • Homeowners who make their payments on time are eligible for up to $1,000 of principal reduction payments each year for up to five years.
    • The program will provide one-time bonus incentive payments of $1,500 to lender/investors and $500 to servicers for modifications made while a borrower is still current on mortgage payments.
    • The program will include incentives for extinguishing second liens on loans modified under this program.
    • No payments will be made under the program to the lender/investor, servicer, or borrower unless and until the servicer has first entered into the program agreements with Treasury’s financial agent.
    • Similar incentives will be paid for Hope for Homeowner refinances.

    Payment Deferral Program For Homeowners Who Fell Behind For Other Reasons

    Another Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac payment deferral program helps eligible borrowers who’ve resolved a temporary non-coronavirus-related hardship. This program is for those who’ve resumed making their monthly payments, but can’t afford to get caught up on the past-due amounts with either a full reinstatement or repayment plan.

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    Eligibility For A Flex Modification

    To be eligible for a Flex Modification, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac must own your loan. To find out if either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac owns your loan, call your servicer or use the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac online loan lookup tools.

    Also, you, your home, and your mortgage loan have to meet specific criteria, like:

    • the loan must be a conventionalfirst mortgage
    • you must have a stable income that will support a monthly payment, and
    • you must have taken out your mortgage at least 12 months before being evaluated for a Flex Modification.

    The requirements to get this type of modification are rather extensive and complicated. So, call your servicer to find out if you qualify and to learn how to apply.

    Get More Information on Flex Modifications

    Click here to get more information about the Flex Modification program if you have a Fannie Mae loan. If you have a Freddie Mac loan, go here.

    The Flex Modification Program For Homeowners: What Struggling Borrowers Need To Know

    State of Change: Flex PACE Loan Program

    Many home mortgage modifications used to happen under the federal governments Home Affordable Modification Program . But, unfortunately, that program stopped taking applications at the end of 2016. The good news is that youre not necessarily out of luck if you cant afford to make your mortgage payments.

    To replace HAMP, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac developed the Flex Modification program. If you qualify for mortgage relief under this program, your monthly payment will go down by around 20%.

    With a loan modification, the lender agrees to change the borrowers loan terms, which lowers the monthly payment to a more affordable amount.

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    Who Or What Are Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac

    The Federal National Mortgage Association , also called “Fannie Mae,” and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation , also called “Freddie Mac,” are government-sponsored enterprises that own or back many mortgages in the United States.

    Here’s how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play a role in the mortgage market: A borrower usually takes out a loan to buy a home from a bank or mortgage company. Most of the time, though, the original lender won’t keep the loan. Instead, the lender sells the loan to a bank or investorlike Fannie Mae or Freddie Macon what’s commonly known as the “secondary mortgage market.” After purchasing a loan from a bank or mortgage company, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac either keep the mortgage in their portfolio or package the loan with other loans into mortgage-backed securities, which are then sold to private investors. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sometimes guarantee the loans they sell to investors, meaning they make sure that an investor gets paid on the loan even if the borrower defaults.

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    Forbearances and Foreclosure Moratorium Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

    Homeowners with federally backed mortgage loans, like ones that Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac purchased or securitized,can get a forbearance. And the Federal Housing Finance Agency , which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,suspended foreclosuresthrough July 31, 2021, because of the coronavirus pandemic. The foreclosure moratorium applies to Fannie- and Freddie-backed, single-family mortgages.

    Fannie and Freddie’sREOeviction moratoriumlasts through September 30, 2021, and applies to properties that Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac have acquired through foreclosure ordeed in lieu of foreclosuretransactions.

    In a loan modification, the bank agrees to alter your mortgage terms, which in turn lowers your monthly payment to a more affordable amount. If Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac own your loan, you might qualify for a Flex Modification, a special loan modification program. Under this program, the loan servicer takes a series of steps, which might include lowering the interest rate and, possibly, extending the term of the loan to lower your monthly payments.

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