Find Out If You Qualify For Mortgage Assistance

The Obama Administration announced new details about its massive foreclosure relief program — and the Washington Post says that it includes a refinancing program for homeowners with little equity in their homes, but who otherwise would be able to refinance. The Post has a quick interactive tool that will help you to determine whether or not you qualify for the program.

A separate part of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan is aimed at the growing number of homeowners who have been unable to refinance because they have little equity in their home. Only homeowners whose mortgages are owned or financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage financing companies recently taken over by the government, can qualify for this part of the program. They would have until June 2010 to refinance.

To find out whether or not you qualify for this program, or the loan modification program that is aimed at homeowners in danger of foreclosure, click here.

Treasury Dept. Details Foreclosure Prevention [WaPo]
(Photo:afagen)

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  1. Hammerfall10 says:

    f Y?

  2. Corporate_guy says:

    LOL, if you are behind on you mortgage you do not qualify. This is only going to help those that can pay their current mortgages. Thus it’s pointless.

    • George Gdovin says:

      @Corporate_guy: I don’t know if I would call it pointless. I’m not behind on mine, but it looks like I might qualify for the Loan Modification Program. That sure would help me out if it can save me a few bucks.

      • Corporate_guy says:

        @George Gdovin: Yes, it’s good for you. But it’s not actually helping those that absolutely need help. Those people are screwed.

      • MonkeyButt says:

        @George Gdovin: We too would qualify for the Loan Modification Program. Although I wish there was more information at the end of the questions as to the details of the program, etc.

    • AskCars says:

      @Corporate_guy: uh this is just one part of the plan. The majority of it does deal with those who fell behind, which is the part most people who pay on time have issues with.

    • goodpete says:

      @Corporate_guy: Personally, I’m excited to see that this only helps people who have been responsible about their mortgages. I graduated college, got a job with a decent salary, and bought a condo. I didn’t have much money to put down, but I figured I was getting a pretty good deal on my condo and I didn’t have plans to move soon, so I went with it. After the housing crash, I’m in a position where I owe more on my condo than what it’s worth. I can’t move or refinance. I’m pretty much stuck paying what I’m paying for a while, even though interest rates have dropped substantially and I have excellent credit.

      The last thing I wanted to see was someone who bought more house than they could afford getting their loan modified and their interest rate dropped so they can stay in a nicer place than mine for less money just because of dumb luck.

      Under this plan, I should have the opportunity to refinance to a lower rate and give myself a little more wiggle room at the end of the month. Meanwhile, the guy down the street who bought a $400,000 house on a $30,000 a year salary doesn’t get to keep that house that he didn’t earn and should never have been able to afford.

      Sure, call me snide or selfish, but I’ve been a responsible borrower who lost thousands of dollars in equity through no fault of my own. The government is now giving me an opportunity to regain some of that equity and lower my monthly payment in order to compensate.

      Also, if you take the guy who bought a house he could never afford and take $500/month off his monthly payments, he might be able to afford the house payments. But if you take just $200/month off my monthly payment, then I will probably take that $200 and go buy stuff (maybe eat out a couple more times a month, or get some movies or a new computer). So giving people like me a break on their loans not only makes us more secure in our living situation, but also gives us a little more spending money which we can use to stimulate the economy.

      Seems like a great idea to me. But maybe that’s just because I’m probably going to benefit. What do you think, Corporate_guy? Do you still think this plan is “pointless”?

      • emis says:

        @plamoni: Sure, call me snide or selfish, but I’ve been a responsible borrower who lost thousands of dollars in equity through no fault of my own.

        I lost 50% of my 401k “through no fault of my own”, that means I get monies too right???

        You bought an asset, it happened to be at a time when that asset depreciated… tough luck.

        What about all the people (like me) who realized the housing market was too inflated and didn’t buy? Now I’ve been stuck renting for 2-3 years, and may be for another 2-3 years until a bottom forms on the market.

        Financially this may be a good position, but when you’re 30-something and trying to also raise a family renting sucks.

        Not to mention that I pay insanely high income taxes vs. the next guy.

  3. wgrune says:

    Oh my, you can be underwater by a whopping 5 percent! For people who bought a house before this collapse with little down, 5 percent is nothing.

    • cabjf says:

      @wgrune: If you are in the areas most affected by the collapse, yes. But the majority of the country is not.

      • Mobius says:

        @cabjf:
        My area isn’t hard hit at all and the value of my house is down 20%. I owe $50,000 more than my house is currently worth.

      • wgrune says:

        @cabjf:

        I bought my house two years ago in MN (relatively low foreclosure rates, etc) and my house is allready worth about 6% less than what I owe on my mortgage.

  4. pb5000 says:

    Um… looking at the questionnaire, the first one asks if you are a homeowner or a renter. Just out of curiosity I clicked renter to be told I don’t qualify (I am a homeowner but am not having trouble making my mortgage payments).

    How dumb to they have to make it though, wouldn’t renters know this doesn’t apply to them?

    • t-r0y says:

      @pb5000: It’s The Washington Post — what did you expect?

    • howie_in_az says:

      @pb5000: How dumb to they have to make it though, wouldn’t renters know this doesn’t apply to them?

      Did you not see the article wherein a McDonalds patron phoned 911 at least 3 times due to a lack of McNuggets?

      • t-r0y says:

        @howie_in_az:
        Did you not see the article wherein a McDonalds patron phoned 911 at least 3 times due to a lack of McNuggets?

        LOL, now we know who’s gonna get our tax dollars!

      • pb5000 says:

        @howie_in_az: Ha ha, I thought the same there but that was just one person. The Washington Post is assuming EVERYONE is apparently this dumb, or at least those that rent that is.

        Although it does make me want some nuggets.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @pb5000: That was added by The Post on purpose. It’s what’s called, in the polling biz, a screener.
      What, how else did you expect them to weed out people who listen to Rush Limbaugh?
      Although, in your defense, I guess adding the question, “Would returning to the Gold Standard magically fix all mortgage-related problems?” So, I’ll give you that. :)

  5. TecmoTech says:

    Man this is so lame.

  6. SkokieGuy says:

    But it’s a voluntary program and you are refinanced into current market rates.

    It’s wild that the government can shovel billions into banks, yet can’t seem to compel banks into specific actions.

    Frankly, the government should simply take a couple banks it now owns (because the bailout money is equal or greater than the bank’s net worth) and loan money at 4% interest.

    Other banks would have to match the rate or have no new lending.

    And no further bailout money is disbursed to banks. It is used to fund these lower-interest mortgages.

    4% mortages mean millions more people will be able to legitimately afford homes. Home buying will not only stem the housing crisis, it is a huge boon the our overall economy.

    Housing buyers buy carpeting and hire contractors and buy paint and appliances and furniture and….and…..etc.

    Why wouldn’t this end the housing crisis within months?

    • concordia says:

      @SkokieGuy:
      >Why wouldn’t this end the housing crisis within months?

      Because your plan, while reasonable and well thought out, does little to line the coffers of our banking overlords, the true holders of the power.

    • dawime says:

      @SkokieGuy:
      Part of what got people in this mess is the fact that money was cheap to get (low interest rates).

      Houses still not at a level where they are affordable. Take for instance Maryland:
      Census data for median household income: $68k
      Median prices for houses in the Baltimore region (today): $265k

      Assuming that you do not want a mortgage that exceeds 31% of your income (ignoring taxes & insurance), that family could afford a house that is in the $200k range.
      A 30 year loan for $160k (20% down) would be around 860/month. Figure around 2.5-3k in taxes/insurance, and your monthly payment is about $1100/month.

      Lending at 4% at the current price of 265k puts their payment at around $1350/month.

      Of course this assumes they have 40k to plop down on the place to begin with (in both cases).

      Its a bitter pill – this refinancing bailout wont be for everyone – just those that still would have a chance to pay their mortgages if their interest drops by 2 points – those that are too far under, or just completely out of their league are beyond helping.

      The market will only recover once the prices drop some more, and people can start buying houses again not because interest rates are below 5%, but because they can afford to.

      • emis says:

        @dawime: Part of what got people in this mess is the fact that money was cheap to get (low interest rates).

        Exactly.

        I say they announce a schedule of rate increases over the next 7 years starting in 6 months…

        Gives everyone on the sidelines an excuse to buy and starts to make credit more expensive, which is exactly as it should be.

        Some economics eggheads were talking about how we actually need a negative borrow rate to incent businesses and banks to loan money–basically pay people to take money which in theory they will spend… what a crock of shit. 0% borrowing has done WONDERS for Japan and their L-shaped recession.

    • Paladin_11 says:

      @SkokieGuy:
      Because it’s not just a housing crisis. In fact, at this point I’d say housing is no longer the biggest problem.

      It’s a crisis caused by a lack of credit and a lack of confidence.

      I think you’re all missing the point of this plan. It’s not to help everyone with a mortgage. Lots of people with unaffordable loans are beyond help. Lots of others (say speculators) shouldn’t be helped, and they aren’t going to be. This plan is something of a floor for people at risk of having the bottom fall completely from beneath them. To the extent that those 8 – 9 million people can be helped the communities they live in will be better off. I guarantee that the cost of foreclosure to a community is higher than the cost of temporarily augmenting a few home loans.

      At most this is only going to buy people some time to get their finances in order, as this program will only last a few years.

      The government could do what you suggest and formally nationalize the banks they hold a stake in, and force those banks to provide 4% loans. But that flies in the face of the “free” market. Doing so would destroy what little remaining confidence there is. And as ironic as it is to say in the current climate, the government is never going to be the best entity to assess risk when it comes to making loans on a personal level. On a macroeconomic level yes, but on a personal level it should be left to dedicated institutions with a history of doing this sort of thing. Some people would say that part of the reason we’re in this mess is because of prior government meddling in the loan process.

      • SkokieGuy says:

        @Paladin_11: Note: Bailing out banks and savings and loans and automakers flies in the face of the free market. We don’t have a free market when profits are privatized and risks are publicly subsidized.

        Some people would say we’re in this because of government meddling in the loan process and I’d say it’s because of reducing regulations under intense pressure from the banking and financial industries. And yes, both Dems & Reps have had a hand in allowing this toxic debt to be created.

        The current plan only helps those in homes in trouble, and potentially may simply stave off foreclosure or bankruptcy for a few years. They are not likely to have their financial situation improved enough to start remodeling, furnishing or engaging in the kinds of activites that will boost the economy and save jobs.

        This does nothing to help communities with huge amounts of vacant already foreclosed homes.

        True low interest freely available credit, (responsbily lended) will bring lots of NEW buyers into the mix. You’ll see renters who can now afford to buy and investors who will buy and rent.

        Property values will stop declining when the vast inventory of vacant homes stops increasing and there is significant buying activity.

        NEW buyers are more likely to engage in the kind of spending typically associated with homebuying, like shopping at home center stores, buying furnishings, employing tradespeople.

        Employed people can afford to buy things, which further helps the economy.

        Rinse, lather, and….

        • Paladin_11 says:

          @SkokieGuy: Hence the “free” in my post. The “free” market isn’t free, and it hasn’t been since the trust busting days of the early 20th century. This is largely a good thing.

          I think we’d like to see the same result, we only disagree about how to achieve it. Government definitely has a role. But I don’t think acting as a commercial bank is the best way for them to do it. Save the struggling folks that you can reasonably help and let the economic cycle do the rest. The point is to provide the jump start that’s necessary, not control the entire process.

          I resisted the urge to even mention political parties because I don’t think the distinction is important in this case. They both have failed massively.

          On all other points I agree with you–with one caveat. I think it’s time we Americans recognize a fundamental truth. The American way of life as it existed before the downturn is unsustainable. Sure we should aspire to remodel and spend money, but not on deferred income. Not on short term and revolving credit. It’s possible to put off immediate gratification and save for the things we think we need or simply want. And it’s possible to live with less.

          Don’t you hate the fact that we’re thought of primarily as *consumers* ?

      • emis says:

        @Paladin_11:

        I don’t think that having the government act as the bank for personal mortgages (up to a certain point) is such a horrible idea. They would be able to ensure several things this way–

        1) Loans can be made at minimum interest

        2) Public money available for loans can be capped at a certain level, say $200,000, beyond that buyers can seek private 2nd mortgages up to 80-90% of the houses appraised value w/ that LTV being set based on local market conditions — the idea of public money first and private money second is similar to higher education financing … it also reduces the potential liability on private banks (and their potential profits)

        3) Laws can be structured such that the government receives their money first, similar to the way it works with the IRS, when a person declares bankruptcy, all other creditors including 2nd private mortgages are kept as they are now. Liens against the house come 2nd to the government getting their money at sale time

        4) Better control and consistency regarding lending across the country

        I’m sure there are plenty of other reasons… plus this gives law makers plenty of new chairs to fill with their local moisteners.

  7. 1stMarDiv says:

    I don’t need help. You see, I was one of those people who lived within their means and lived in an apartment in order to save money. Now I get to help out those who bought homes they couldn’t afford…awesome.

    • howie_in_az says:

      @1stMarDiv: I don’t need help either, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to phone up my lender and ask them to reduce my fixed-for-30-year interest rate.

    • goodpete says:

      @1stMarDiv: RTFA (then read my post above).

      • Anonymous says:

        @1stMarDiv: @1stMarDiv: @plamoni: You know 1st Mar Div, some people where lied too, and thought that just maybe the banks wouldnt lie about what they could and could not afford. husband was 1st Mar expeditiionary brigade 3/3 100% disabled even veterans where lied too.

    • Mary Marsala with Fries says:

      @1stMarDiv: Good for you. And I’m sure you’re grateful that you live in a relatively compassionate society, so that when you *do* need help, you (and your kids) won’t simply be thrown out into the street to starve.

      Oh, wait–that IS what you want?

  8. nataku8_e30 says:

    huh, i should have bought a lot more house, i guess, rather than putting down 20% on a loan that’s payment is only 14% of my gross income… oh well, live and learn

    • DanR2 says:

      @nataku83:

      Check to see if you still have 20% equity in your home. If the value has dropped, you might not. This is exactly the kind of problem people are having–where they would like to be able to refinance at a lower rate to cut the monthly payments, but can’t because their home value dropped.

      • nataku8_e30 says:

        @DanR2: Well, I’ve been paying above the minimum, have a 15-yr FM mortgage, and Zillow claims my house has only lost 0.7% of it’s value in the last year (I doubt that’s particularly accurate, but my area has not had much depreciation since real estate was dirt cheap going into this crisis), so I’m pretty sure I still have at least 20% equity. Zillow’s claim would result in 23% equity.

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      @nataku83: Better than I, whom didn’t put much down but kept the payment to 22% of gross, still a lot lower than many..

      If they dropped my 5.5% interest to 2% and I kept my payment amount the same, I could pay off my house rather quickly.

      Too bad I was responsible about it.

    • bobloblawsblog says:

      @nataku83: so, you either bough a really cheap house or you make a ton of $$. most ppl on each coast dont make enough to rent or buy a house @ 14% of gross income. if you made $100k/yr that means you bought a house thats like 100k. thats flat out unrealistic in the northeast / Cali. so enjoy your studio in kansas, and thats for the dough!

      • nataku8_e30 says:

        @bobloblawsblog: ah, seems like I can mysteriously comment again. Anyway, to copy my mis-placed response to your comment:

        Anyway – let me just say – great handle. However, your math kind of sucks. If I made 100k a year, I would be able to buy a $182,206 house with a 15 year mortgage and the payments would be 14% of gross monthly salary. Needless to say, I make less than that, and was still able to afford a 2200 sq-ft, 4bdrm house in nice condition in a nice neighborhood in the country’s 4th largest metropolitan area. It is certainly not a studio in Kansas…

    • Mary Marsala with Fries says:

      @nataku83: Yup, if you’re upset because you’re not losing sleep every night for months, going without food to try and keep your utilities on, and wondering where you and your kids can go besides your car if something doesn’t happen for you soon, then you’re right. You screwed up.

  9. samurailynn says:

    Here’s a couple of ideas that I think would help this whole housing situation…

    ARM loans must have an interest rate cap. The possible interest rate must be fully disclosed. As in, the borrower must sign a piece of paper that says “Your interest rate will vary between 8%-15%. At 8% your monthly payment is $X and at 15% your monthly payment is $X.”

    Banks must verify a borrower’s income that they are using to determine if the borrower is “eligible” for the amount of the loan. They must qualify the borrower for the maximum payment amount if the loan is an ARM.

    The second rule should be retroactive. If a loan does not have proper paperwork showing that the bank verified the borrower’s income, then they should be required to rework the terms of the loan, even if the borrower no longer qualifies. Basically, the bank “qualified” someone for an ARM at 8%, but then the payments increased because now they are charging 12% interest and the borrower can no longer afford the payment. The bank must refinance the loan at a fixed rate of 8% and forgive any late fees. I’m sure there would need to be a lot more specifications, but something along those lines would probably help out a lot of people that got screwed over.

    • SkokieGuy says:

      @samurailynn: Wow, fair and reasonable ideas, probably no chance of ever being put in place.

    • sburnap42 says:

      @samurailynn: All interest rates should be capped. If a bank can’t make a profit without jacking up rates to ridiculous values, then it shouldn’t be making the loan.

    • SacraBos says:

      @samurailynn: Here’s what I thought – since interest rates were at an almost all-time low, anyone that got an ARM should be denied the loan due to stupidity. If you can barely afford the house at the low intro-ARM rate, how the hell are you going to afford it after the rates go up?

  10. wcnghj says:

    I must say this plan sucks. ‘Is your mortgage serviced by FM/FM?’

    Umm, no. Sorry, you do not qualify.

    What good is that?

    • SacraBos says:

      @wcnghj: The program is not there to help the people. It’s there to help Fannie/Freddie out of the ditch (and their Executive Bonuses).

    • goodpete says:

      @wcnghj: Read it again, it doesn’t ask if your mortgage is serviced by FM/FM, it asks if they guarantee it or if they own it. Your loan may be serviced by Wells Fargo or Countrywide or one of many other companies but still guaranteed by FM/FM. Call your servicer (the person you send money to each month) and ask them if your loan is owned by or guaranteed by FM/FM. They legally can’t tell you which one owns it, but they can tell you if one of them does.

      I called my servicer today and they informed me that one of them does own or guarantee my mortgage. They obviously couldn’t give me solid information on whether I qualified, but they believed I probably would and scheduled a time to call me back after they have more information. It was a very pleasant experience, just make sure you know what you’re taking about before you call. The loan rep told me that she had received a number of calls from people who had no idea what the plan was or whether they might qualify and those people just wasted her time.

    • Mary Marsala with Fries says:

      @wcnghj: It’s not enough good, but it’s SOME good. Part of the reason for that “crisis” word is that lots of good people are going to get the shaft here. We’ll just hope their families and communities are more compassionate than your average Consumerist commenter…

  11. SadSam says:

    We refinanced recently to take advantage of a super low fixed rate product (we were in a good fixed rate loan, our new one is 2% lower). We sweated the appraisal which was in-depth (our home is historic – so hard to value and in South Florida, we bought in 2004, the house next door [also historic, but smaller and not as nice] to us sold the next year for $100,000+ more than we paid) and the appraisal came back $3000 more than we paid in 2004 – yay we made $3000. So we were happy and then the bank told us they only loan 70% of the value for the loan product (super great rate, fixed) in Florida because we are a declining market. Luckily we have an emergency fund and we could afford to pay down our loan by about $3000 to bring the mortgage to the 70% value.

  12. TEW says:

    All that I ask is that if any of you are looking at this please consult a lawyer. I know it is expensive but we are talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars in real estate. I believe that if more people had consulted a lawyer we would not have been in this ARM mess.

    • Fresh-Fest-1986 says:

      @TEW: You are very right. People were entirely too flipant in a lot of cases about the biggest purchase they will make in their life. I spent about 2 monthes researching when I bought my flat screen. I can’t imagine people just signing on the dotted line for 40 or so pages without getting a professional involved.

    • goodpete says:

      @TEW: I’m not going to argue against getting a lawyer. If you can afford it, a lawyer is almost always a good investment. But very few people hire a lawyer to help them buy a house or refinance a mortgage.

      The best (and cheapest) thing you can do is worth through recommendations. When I bought my house, my mortgage broker was recommended by my real estate guy who was recommended by a long-time family friend. The mortgage broker also happened to have many friends in common with my father and his son was dating one of my sister’s friends.

      You probably won’t find someone so well connected to your family, but it’s still a good a good idea to work off personal recommendations. Much of the problems we saw were from people who dealt with a mortgage broker they saw on TV and didn’t involve anyone with any financial skills in the process. Don’t feel like you have to go it alone, but a lawyer probably isn’t a necessity for this.

      • TEW says:

        @plamoni:
        For a mere $500 you can make sure that you know exactly what you are getting into and that is a great deal. If a family member does it right then that’s great. If you can’t afford the $500 then for an expert to look the loan over then you can’t afford a home. I believe that you need an unbiased review of such a large loan.

  13. cmdrsass says:

    protip: if you’re reading this website, you do not qualify for mortgage assistance.

  14. Ratty says:

    Well good for them, but where’s my piece of the pie as a renter who didn’t buy because I knew a home was too much money? I’d love some help to keep a roof over my head.

    • Mary Marsala with Fries says:

      @Ratty: Unfortunately, in addition to the buyers who got screwed or lost their jobs and now can’t keep their homes, some renters are getting screwed too, especially when the place they live in gets foreclosed and the owner loses it. FYI though, often if you call the lender who holds the mortgage on the property and tell them you’re the renter and you’d like to buy it rather than leave, they’ll cut you some kind of deal.

  15. kwsventures says:

    None of this mortgage bailout nonsense will work. Just wasting more taxpayer money. Nobody is allowed to fail in our country anymore. No matter how much money is thrown at the mortgage situation, prices are going down. Just remember this continued do-goody policy in a few years when the economy will still be in ruins.

    • Geekybiker says:

      @kwsventures: At least this seems in the right place. Get money to people who need it, no give it to the banks and hope they will suddenly decide to be generous with it. Banks/lenders made this problem. They should be the ones suffering for it, not the poor guy who has had all his equity sucked out from under him.

    • Mary Marsala with Fries says:

      @kwsventures: Yup, and you remember how you feel about “do-goody” policy when you or one of your loved ones needs assistance. I’m sure you’d rather your relatives be “allowed to fail”, right?

  16. ElizabethD says:

    I love (NOT) all the “I’m smart/prudent; you’re stupid/spendthrift” self-righteous responses to this post. Yes… it’s really all about YOU. Just buy a cheap house at a great rate while you can, smarty-pantses, and cut the smug posturing. *sheesh*

    Meanwhile, back to the actual post that gives useful CONSUMER information, thank you very much.

  17. Scoobatz says:

    What part of this program is aimed at foreclosure prevention? It doesn’t help anyone who is behind on mortgage payments are underwater by more than 5 percent. Is the target audience really that much of a risk?

    And, please tell me the Loan Modification program has more options than simply extending a fixed-rate mortgage to 40 years. Really?

    • rochec says:

      @Scoobatz:

      Absolutely the loan mod does. A lender can reset your interest rate to 2% for 30 years if they want. It’s all about the lender wanting a preforming asset on the books, they’ll do anything to make that happen rather than foreclose. As long as it’s cost effective for them of course.

      In a rare chance they might even shave off some principal, pretty unlikely though.

  18. jscott73 says:

    People will have to pay, one way or another, to help get the economy out of recession. It may not be fair or equally distributed but it has to happen. My tax dollars may go to some bank or it may go to some family trying to avoid foreclosure, I do not know, all I know is that everyone is on the hook for the economic mess we are all in and the sooner we all accept that the sooner we can help those who need it and hopefully move on with our economic life.

    Also, buying a house when the interest rates are low is a horrible time to buy a house; it means that the price you paid for the house is artificially inflated due to the low rates. This is an unsustainable solution because when the rates start going back up, which they will have to, home values will start falling again and this whole process will repeat itself.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Not going to help anyone in Cali or Florida where most if not ALL houses purchased in the last 5 years are underwater 50%, not a small 5%. This is what will sink this plan. Very disappointed in Obama on this…guess all those Citibank ex-executives hired in this administration are the ones would really are running the show…same ole same ole…

    • Mary Marsala with Fries says:

      @JazzyGanador: It’s NOT the same ol’. It’s not going to help everyone in trouble — nothing is, really — and I’d like to see it do more, but if you look above you can see that most Americans are stingy to the Nth degree about spending a dollar to help out anyone less fortunate, and the government has to work with that. As a foreclosure-prevention counselor, I can tell you for a fact that this program will help WAY more people than any previous program…they won’t be the ones that are in the most desperate trouble, but it WILL keep some people from going into foreclosure who otherwise would have.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Not going to help anyone in Cali or Florida where most if not ALL houses purchased in the last 5 years are underwater 50%, not a small 5%. This is what will sink this plan. Very disappointed in Obama on this…guess all those Citibank ex-executives hired in this administration are the ones would really are running the show…same ole same ole…

  21. Dillon Barfield says:

    Well, I know I’m too poor to buy a house … and thus I don’t own a house. Can I has free munnie now? :(

    It sucks that my tax dollars go to people who who are better off than I am in the sense of actually owning a home, meanwhile I’m just trying to pay down my student loans and other debts so that I can hopefully buy a house some day in the next ten years.

    • jscott73 says:

      @Dillon Barfield: I believe we have moved beyond calling home owners “better off” then renters. I actually feel sorry for the vast majority of home owners now, I’ve owned three homes, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. I am perfectly content renting for as long as possible.

  22. rpm773 says:

    Man, I could have sworn I heard someone screaming “Fuck you” at 3:32 today from far away, but then I decided it was just the wind.

  23. rochec says:

    Anyone in need of assistance qualifies for a Loan Mod. Lenders will be more willing to help those past due and with very high interest rates, but there is no ‘box’.

    If you are struggling with your mortgage and you may lose your home take advantage of it. There is no shame in a Loan Mod and it won’t hurt your credit 99% of the time.

    The company that helped me get my loan mod was awesome. I know I could have done it on my own, but every time I called Countrywide they said I wasn’t far enough past due and put me on hold forever. These guys got it done and it took me about 45 mins on the phone with them. I’m glad the govt is pressing lenders to be proactive now. Give em a call 866-612-7634.

  24. flipnut says:

    I called BofA today. They are totally mixed up they told me I had to have a 96% or greater loan to value ratio to qualify for the refinance unless your home is over 495K in value.

  25. blash says:

    I read the headline, I see the picture – am I the only one who thinks, “wait… someone needs assistance with the mortgage on the White House?! WTF?!”

  26. u1itn0w2day says:

    I saw reports on that today .I think they called it people who’s homes are ‘ underwater ‘ .

    I still don’t get the sense of entitlement that you must be able to sell your home at a profit .Beside being theoretically impossible without infinate inflation WHERE is that law written down .

    If you think you were legally wronged-fine-get a lawyer,tell a congressman , write nasty letters,make phone calls – I don’t care .But a house or HOME is a place to live .It is not a piggy bank or a stock pick .There is no guarantee of a payoff nor should their be an expectation when buying a HOME : a place to live .

    If anyone has ever shown fiscal discipline,the ability to bargain hunt,waited for sales,used coupons,used cash,rented,DID WITHOUT,bought generics,read fine print,asked questions when signing a CONTRACT because that’s what a mortgage IS a COTRACT to pay x dollars I would be totally insulted at this point .

    WHERE IS THIS ENTITLEMENT WRITTEN DOWN,was this one of those 3 o clock in the morning bill signings ? Did I miss something ?

  27. DanR2 says:

    @ u1itn0w2day

    Yes, you missed something. The Obama plan has nothing to do with selling a home for a profit.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      @DanR2: Perhaps it doesn’t say it directly but half the reason for these ‘ bailouts ‘ is that that many who have fallen behind on their mortgage can’t even sell the house to get out of the situation .The article does say for those with little or no equity .

      Many don’t have any signifigant equity so they’re complaining if I sell short I’ll loose too much .The whole mortgage mess was based on the false premise that you could sell your house or remortgage it at a higher price at will .

      I think some of impetus for these bailouts is actually coming from those crying about THEIR home value and blaming it on the foreclosures and for sale sign in their neighborhood .It’s not the people who are willing to walk or turn in the keys ,many of those are actually good at ‘ surviving ‘.It’s the false expectation that house values will always increase .

  28. concordia says:

    >Hmwnr ffrdblty nd Stblty Pln
    Hy, knw wht wld mk hms ffrdbl? Lt th jkrs tht cn’t ffrd thr hms gt frclsd pn nd pt thr hss p t thr mrkt-crrctd vl.

    Bt by ll mns, dn’t hlp ppl lk m tht’v trd t b rsnbl nd rspnsbl by rntng, svng t by hm, nt th mrkt.

    Fck y. Fck y. MTHRFCKNG FCK Y!

    • SkokieGuy says:

      @concordia: Troll much?

      Let’s see, you as a renter, will now be able to get a great deal on a home, since values are down AND the government will give you $8,000 to buy the home, up to 10% of the purchase price – as a gift, you don’t repay.

      When I bought my house, that the gub’ment didn’t give me one dime to buy, and I paid a lot more what I would have paid today.

      So SHUT THE FUCK UP and buy a house already.

      • Pro8678 says:

        @SkokieGuy: So where exactly is this $8,000 “gift” that you don’t have to pay back? I’ve heard of getting a no interest loan that you have to pay back over 15 years, but no gift that I’m aware of.

        • SkokieGuy says:

          @Pro8678: It was a $7,500 tax credit that was paid back (interest free) over 15 years, but it has changed to a $8,000 credit that you do not pay back if you live in the home at least three years.

          [money.cnn.com]

          • MsAnthropy says:

            @SkokieGuy:

            It hasn’t changed – the $7.500 that has to be paid back was last year’s tax credit. The newly-announced one is $8,000 which doesn’t have to be paid back.

            I was happy with my $7,500 ’til they announced that. Bah! :(

        • RStui says:

          @Pro8678: It the tax credit. If you buy a home this year, you get it, it’s up to $8K, and you don’t have to pay it back.

          I bought mine last year, my tax credit was $7500 this year, and I have to pay it back. D’oh.

          THAT is shitty.

      • Stoli says:

        @SkokieGuy: I’m curious, where can you get that $8K+ gift?

        • MsAnthropy says:

          @Stoli:

          By way of a tax credit when filing your 2009 taxes. File taxes next year, tax liability reduced by (or refund increased by) up to $8,000. That’s how my $7,500-that-has-to-be-paid-back-over-15-years worked this January, anyway. I’d rather have $8,000 that I get to keep, though. Oh well.

      • goodpete says:

        @concordia: Lean to read. This plan doesn’t give one shiny dime to people who bought houses they could never afford. If you’re not current on your mortgage, you don’t qualify under either plan. If you could “never afford your home” then you won’t be current on your mortgage.

        Instead, this is aimed at helping people who did exactly what you are doing. Imagine you saved up $30,000 and used that as a down payment on a $200,000 home. Now that home is worth $150,000 and you still owe $155,000. Not only are you out the $30,000 you saved up, but if you were to move, you’d probably end up still owing $10,000 on the house. Wouldn’t that suck?

        Of course it’s not the homeowner’s fault. They saved their money, they bought a house with a payment they could afford, they just got stuck with an illiquid asset that lost a huge amount of value.

        I’ll reiterate: this program is not designed to give handouts to people who made stupid decisions. It’s designed to provide some relief to people that did the RIGHT thing and just got caught up in a economic downswing.

        Next time you should RTFA before you troll.

        • Michael Hyland says:

          @plamoni: whatever it was ‘designed’ for, it fails. RL example:

          i have a family member who bought a 500K house they could not afford – they are current on their payments, but they are behind in other bills. they really had no intention to sell, and were aware of the RISK investments mean.

          i bought a 250K home and basically have the same situation, except we just live with a severely tight budget.

          home values dropped.

          my family member did the numbers, and their mortgage is going to come out less monthly than mine, but i don’t qualify since i have just a little more equity. so essentially they ARE rewarded for buying what they couldn’t afford. if i had bought something just 100K-200K more i would paying exactly what i am now for twice the house under this ‘plan’.

          i doubt this is an isolated thing. lots of people barely scraping by are getting rewarded while the rest of us who are only in slightly better shape get the shaft. we all made these decisions – there should be an equal right to refinance for all… and at the very least, we should be able to voice our frustrations.

          it’s not trolling when people are legitimately angry for reasons out of their control… and yet PAY for.

    • t-r0y says:

      @concordia: Excellent point. And well stated too!

    • Baccus83 says:

      @concordia: But when that happens, it makes all surrounding houses fall in value, putting more and more people “underwater.” This plan is geared more toward helping those people.

      As much as I hate that it’s come to this, I think it is, ultimately, a step in the right direction.

    • nakedscience says:

      @concordia: “Let the jokers that can’t afford their homes”

      Do you like being a jerk for no reason?

    • Brazell says:

      @concordia: Abrasively put, but the message is entirely right. People like you and I get screwed subsidizing the mortgages of our neighbors who unintelligently bought when they never could afford to and now they’re foreclosing.

      As for house values, that’s irrelevant and not even something that we should want. Markets were overvalued and ballooned, we want them to readjust, not keep them sustainable stilted. This will only serve to extend the problem and not solve it. But, c’est la vie, the government knows how to spend my money better than I do.

    • deadandy says:

      @concordia: Well stated, sir. Those of us who have behaved responsibly are getting the most shaft, sans lube. I bought my house a few years ago before the boom at 144. I can afford my payments. Now because of irresponsible lenders, buyers, and brokers, my house is worth 105 according to recent comps. >5% underwater = I don’t qualify.

    • varro says:

      @concordia:
      “Everybody is getting on my nerves!
      Everybody is much stupider than me!
      Why don’t you do things
      The way that I want?
      I am right and you are wrong. ME!”

      “Me” from Almost Live – the official anthem of Objectivism.

    • sburnap42 says:

      @concordia: So if a military family bought a house last year with a payment they *could* afford, saw their house lose $50k in equity, putting them far underwater and then be told by the army that they need to move cross country, your answer is “fuck you”?

      • Michael Hyland says:

        @sburnap42: I say yes. First, thank you for serving. I appreciate it, but it was your choice.

        Second, you purchased your home knowing how much it would cost – either a fixed rate or a variable rate you knew you needed to live with. Losing equity doesn’t change the original payment you agreed to, and equity was never guaranteed anyway… thus, you have two choices: stay there or sell for less that it cost. That’s life.

      • emis says:

        @sburnap42:

        Let the military subsidize their people if they want.

        We’re talking about the average jackass who was breathing and had 3% down and therefor qualified for a mortgage.

        Those are the screw ups who rushed into buying houses that put us into this mess, not the few thousand military families moving around.

        Watch any HGTV show from 2003-2006 and see how it’s about some moron who put nothing down buying a place for $200K, put in $50K in work and flipped it for $350K. Or listen to Susan Whang talk about how the Las Vegas real estate market is so hot that you need to bring your checkbook and make an offer at the first showing.

        Any common fool ought to have know that this is NOT the right way to make these decisions… unfortunately a vast number of American’s were (and are?) uncommonly foolish.

        Everything today is instant gratification, 30-second online approval, bullshit… you can rush into just about anything these days w/o knowledge or research, including buying a house.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @concordia: Since the legislation enabling the HASP specifically excludes potty-mouths, I’m sorry to inform you that you’re out of luck, regardless of your economic situation.

    • Homerjay (insert star here) says:

      @concordia: I’m all for disemvoweling but I’d really like to be able to scroll over the comment to see what was really said or something like that.
      You just know most of us are sitting here trying to figure out what it says.

  29. Frank From Virginia says:

    See if you qualify to pay your neighbor’s mortgage for them:

    1. Are you a taxpayer? Yes
    2. Are you current on your mortgage or rent? Yes
    3. Are you having any difficulties of your own? Yes/No (We don’t care, just messing with ‘ya.)
    4. Have you been reasonably responsible with your finances? Yes

    Congratulations you qualify to pay for your neighbor’s mortgage!

  30. shadax says:

    @SkokieGuy

    Get real. Unless you live in a flyover state, 8 grand is nothing compared to down payment/home prices. The fact is that the gains from reckless investment in real estate were privatized. The losses are now being socialized. It is 100% unfair to those of us that could have entered the market but didn’t because it was fundamentally a bad value for years. I don’t have a problem with investing OR risk. I DO, however, have a problem with people who get bailed out instead of having to pay the piper when they realize doesn’t always go up.

    I know conservative republican Fox News watchers who happily accepted a loan modification. Seriously, what hypocrites. If government sponsored loan mods/bailouts aren’t socialist, I don’t know what is.

  31. nataku8_e30 says:

    @bobloblawsblog: hrmm, hope this shows up correctly, the commenting thing seems to be f*ed up.

    Anyway – let me just say – great handle. However, your math kind of sucks. If I made 100k a year, I would be able to buy a $182,206 house with a 15 year mortgage and the payments would be 14% of gross monthly salary. Needless to say, I make less than that, and was still able to afford a 2200 sq-ft, 4bdrm house in nice condition in a nice neighborhood in the country’s 4th largest metropolitan area. It is certainly not a studio in Kansas…