Friday, November 14, 2008

Renegotiating Overdue Mortgages

The Treasury Department is trying to figure out how to assist Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in assisting mortgage banks to assist subprime mortgage holders and others in distress who are behind on their payments. The Treasury Department abandoned its initial strategy of purchasing mortgage backed securities, which is one of the ways Fannie and Freddie made money. The crisis is getting worse so fast that Treasury Paulson has risked the wrath of Congress (and they are REALLY angry) changed his strategy and is now try to direct relief directly to mortgage holders. Maybe folk will stop calling themselves 'homeowners' if they hold mortgages. Mortgages holders in trouble have quite a gauntlet to maneuver to get relief.

Mortgage holders qualify for assistance if they live in the home, are 90 days or more behind in their payments or are in foreclosure and you own less than 10 percent equity. Fannie and Freddie, starting December 15 are then working with mortgage holder lender institutions to extend loan terms (30 years to 40), lower interest rates and push back principal payments interest free. The servicer will work with you to try to reduce your payment to no more than 38 percent of your gross income. Of courese, there is no getting around making your mortgage payments.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac own or guarantee 31 million U.S. mortgages, or nearly 6 of every 10. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, 9 percent of mortgages borrowers (approx 4 million loan holders), are behind on their payments or in foreclosure at the end of June.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is updating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 (RESPA), which established federal rules for home purchase transactions. The new rules will help consumers compare terms on mortgage loans offered by different lenders and limit big differences. Many people do not read guidelines or what they are signing when closing mortgage loans. Folks are simply going to have to start reading their loan documents or be held responsible for what they are signing.

CALL: Hope Now (888 995-HOPE) or your servicer.

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