New HAMP guidelines require post-modification counseling

Borrowers receiving a HAMP Trial Payment Plan must now be offered financial counseling by HUD-approved housing agency.

The Making Home Affordable program is celebrating its five year birthday of helping struggling homeowners. According to the U. S. Treasury, 1.3 Million Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) mortgage modifications have been completed with $544 in median monthly savings to the homeowner. Qualifying homeowners have received $13 Billion in principal reductions.

The economy is showing signs of recovery. However, there are still many families in need of mortgage assistance. Given the continuing need to help these homeowners, MHA has been extended until December 2015

Treasury is now requiring the largest servicers in HAMP to offer financial counseling to homeowners who have received modifications under HAMP to help them stay current on their mortgage payments. All eligible borrowers must be offered financial counseling when they enter a Trial Payment Plan. Those homeowners who are in a permanent HAMP modification and go 30 days delinquent twice within the last 12 months must also be offered housing counseling.

Servicers are required to select a HUD-approved housing counseling agency to provide the counseling. The counseling addresses the borrower’s current financial situation and hardship, the HAMP Modification terms including future rate resets, and the terms of the trial payment plan.

If you are a homeowner who falls into any of the HAMP eligibility criteria, you may qualify for a modification. Please check with your mortgage servicer to see if you are eligible to begin the HAMP evaluation process.

Michigan State University Extension is a HUD-approved housing counseling agency and can provide the new financial counseling requirement at multiple county offices, by phone, or through technology. Find the one staff person nearest you at mimoneyhealth.org. MSHDA-certified housing counselors may be located using their counselor search.

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