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Who Qualifies for the Hope for Homeowners Program?

Established as a part of the 2008 Economic Stabilization Act, Hope for Homeowners is a voluntary program that encourages lenders to work with borrowers who are having difficulty paying their mortgages. Those who qualify will be offered FHA insured mortgages with a new balance that, in some cases, can be as much as 96.5% of the home's current appraised value. Intended to help homeowners who are "underwater" in their current mortgages and struggling to make payments, the program will also allow lenders to extend the term of the loan up to 40 years.

Recent changes in the bill will make it even easier for struggling homeowners to qualify, however there are strict requirements for eligibility.

  • Applicants must demonstrate the ability to repay the new loan.
  • The existing mortgage must have originated on or before January 1, 2008.
  • Applicants must have made a minimum of six full payments on their mortgage and must not have intentionally missed payments.
  • Applicants must demonstrate inability to afford the existing loan.
  • Loan amounts are limited to a maximum of $550,440.
  • The current mortgage holder must agree to waive prepayment penalties and late payment fees.
  • Applicants can not own a second home.
  • Applicants must not have knowingly provided false information to obtain the present mortgage and must not have been convicted of fraud within the past ten years.
  • All loans must show full documentation of income and employment.
  • There is an upfront mortgage insurance premium of 3% and an annual premium of 1.5%.
  • Homeowners must agree to share both the equity created with the new loan and any future appreciation.

Homeowners who wish to apply should immediately contact their lender or the Hope Now Alliance at: 888.995-HOPE. This program will terminate September 30, 2011.


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