HOMEOWNERSHIP PRESERVATION... WHERE DO WE TURN?? - CDPEHOMEOWNERSHIP PRESERVATION... WHERE DO WE TURN??
According to Freddie Mac, 6 in 10 families losing their homes don't know where to turn for guidance and advice. REALTORS® need to know where to direct their clients for these types of services to both prepare them for homeownership and advise them on methods of keeping their homes once they acquire them.
In Prince George's County, the Housing Authority offers advice through its Homeownership Preservation Program. For more information on the services they provide, please contact:
TELE: (301) 883-HOME (4663)
TTY: (301) 883-5428
HUD-certified housing counseling services in the area that may be helpful to families include:
Greater Washington Urban League
6200 Baltimore Avenue, Suite 304
Riverdale, MD 20737
3401 East-West Highway
Hyattsville, MD 20782
Housing Initiatives Partnership, Inc. (HIP)
6525 Belcrest Road, Suite 555
Hyattsville, MD 20782
Housing Options and Planning Enterprises,
6192 Oxon Hill Road, Suite 405
Oxon Hill, MD 20745
Kairos Development Corporation
5601 Old Branch Avenue
Camp Springs, MD 20748
National Community Reinvestment
www.ncrc.org or www.fairlending.com
1 (800) 475-NCRC (6272)
National Consumer Law Center (NCLC)
(202) 452-6252Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA)
1 (888) 302-NACA (6222)
Roots of Mankind
4273 Branch Avenue, Suite 205
Oxon Hill, MD 20745
Sowing Empowerment and Economic Development, Inc. (SEED)
6201 Riverdale Road, Suite 200
Riverdale, MD 20737
United Communities Against Poverty (UCAP)
1400 Doewood Lane
Capitol Heights, MD 20743
Remember, financial counseling and education are essential keys to homeownership preservation.
Maryland DHCD Programs to Help During the Mortgage Crisis
On January 14, 2008 Governor Martin O'Malley announced new legislation, emergency regulations and initiatives to help thousands of Maryland homeowners at risk of losing their homes and to prevent future generations of homeowners losing their homes due to foreclosure following the sub-prime mortgage crisis facing our entire nation. These initiatives were created after the Homeownership Preservation Task Force developed by the Governor made recommendations on how to help Maryland homeowners, reform lending practices, lengthen the foreclosure process to make it fairer, and crack down on fraud and unscrupulous practices in the mortgage industry.
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has new programs that will help some homeowners refinance into an affordable mortgage or catch up on missed payments while negotiating a better outcome than foreclosure. The initiative includes the following programs:
Lifeline Refinance Mortgage
Bridge to Hope
Lifeline Refinance Mortgage program provides a refinancing option to Marylanders who may be facing difficulties after financing their homes with adjustable rate or other unfavorable mortgages, or with mortgages that no longer fit their financial situation. Borrower must be current on the mortgage with a credit score of 600.
Homesaver Refinance Mortgage Program provides a refinancing option to Marylanders who have sub-prime or exotic mortgages and are experiencing difficulties as a result of mortgage default, low credit scores and/or a mortgage greater than the current value of their home. The Maryland Housing Fund (MHF), the State's mortgage insurance agency, is the exclusive mortgage insurer for this program. Mortgage(s) may not be more than two months past due at the time of application.
"Bridge to Hope" Loan Program provides small gap loans at zero percent interest to homeowners facing difficulty, giving them time to get back on their feet or find a solution. Borrowers must be referred by a CDA-approved housing counseling agency. Borrowers must either be in delinquency or imminent potential of delinquency with no other viable alternatives available.
The link to learn more about these programs is: www.mdhope.org
HOME FROM WORK
Home From Work is a housing opportunity program designed promoted by the National Association of REALTORS® to help people who can't afford to live close to their jobs. The program encourages REALTORS® to become advocates for expanding housing opportunities by teaching them how to promote workforce housing initiatives at the grassroots level. REALTORS®will be trained to work with employees to establish an employer assisted housing (EAH) benefit.
According to the National Association of REALTORS, the goal of the Home From Work training program is to educate REALTORS® on the benefits of employer assisted housing and how to reach out to employees. Home From Work is a three-hour training class for REALTORS® and affiliate members. Continuing education credit is sometimes offered. Upon completion of the class, REALTORS® will be ready to approach employers, advocate for EAH programs, and help employers put their programs in place.
For more information go to National Association of REALTORS® (Housing Opportunity Program)
Sale and Land Softly Alternative (SALSA)
A Partnership with The Coalition for Homeownership Preservation in Prince George's County and
Prince George's County Association of REALTORS® (PGCAR) to Help Prevent Foreclosures
The PGCAR Housing Affordability Committee in partnership with the Coalition of Homeownership Preservation of Prince George's County has adopted the "Sale and Land Softly Alternative (SALSA)" program. SALSA, structured after a successful program in Baltimore, partners qualified listing agents and brokers with home sellers facing foreclosure or those not able to afford their home and who simply want to: move on, sell their homes, and reap as much equity as possible from the transaction or limit their liability to the Investor.
The program involves PGCAR members who agree (along with their broker) to list these properties (referred by an HUD-Approved Counselors) for an agreed upon commission rate. (A rate already established by the Coalition). Home sellers are then referred to these agents to list the property at the established rate.
The sales agents who agree to participate in this program do so recognizing that it may take a great deal of time with very little, if any, profit. These agents are those with a truly benevolent nature.
For further information about SALSA please contact Committee Chair, Donna Hurley - 240-737-5000 .
In August the state of Maryland announced the Home Owners Preserving Equity program (HOPE) under the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. HOPE was created to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, refinance, and switch their adjustable rate mortgages (ARM's) for more affordable fixed payment loans. HOPE offers loan counseling for borrowers and provides mortgage servicer incentives to restructure problem loans.
The State has committed $2.5 million to the program and Prince George's County has agreed to $1.5 million.
Homeowners who are having difficulties paying their mortgage are encouraged to seek help with refinancing and credit counseling through HOPE. Call the Maryland HOPE hotline at 1-877-462-7555 FREE or visit www.MDHOPE.org.
What is www.MDHomePrograms.com?
The Maryland Association of REALTORS® has developed www.MDHomePrograms.com to help consumers and REALTORS® find ways to make housing more affordable. Visitwww.MDHomePrograms.com to obtain a comprehensive index of relevant and innovative housing finance programs. To study tax incentives, down payment and closing cost assistance programs for home buyers that include HUD/FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Maryland Housing and Community Development (DHCD), local government and special initiatives from private lenders. Consumers can learn about selling and buying a home, financial literacy, predatory lending, foreclosure prevention and more. Add www.MDHomePrograms.com to your list of valuable contacts.
Frequently Asked QuestionsIt is understandable to have questions when coping with a new and challenging situation, especially when a home is at stake. The reality is that millions of homeowners across the country are finding out that they have more questions than answers. We hope that the following information will help you better understand the circumstances. If you have further questions not addressed below, or would like additional information resources, feel free to Contact Us.
Do I qualify for a short sale?The qualifications for a short sale include any or all of the following:
- Financial Hardship – There is a situation causing you to have trouble affording your mortgage.
- Monthly Income Shortfall – In other words: “You have more month than money.” A lender will want to see that you cannot afford, or soon will not be able to afford your mortgage.
- Insolvency – The lender will want to see that you do not have significant liquid assets that would allow you to pay down your mortgage.
- Your interest rate
- Your principal balance (through a reduction)
- Your loan terms (example: from an adjustable to a fixed rate)
Why would a lender modify my mortgage?Lenders have realized that in some cases it is better for them to work with current borrowers to lower payments or possibly improve terms in order to keep homeowners in their properties. The average foreclosure can cost a lender from 35-50% of the value of a property, so keeping borrowers in their homes is a good option for everyone.
What do I need to qualify for a mortgage modification?According to the Making Home Affordable Web site (www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov), you will need the following information for your lender to consider a modification:
- Information about your first mortgage, such as your monthly mortgage statement
- Information about any second mortgage or home equity line of credit on the house
- Account balances and minimum monthly payments due on all of your credit cards
- Account balances and monthly payments on all your other debts such as student loans and car loans
- Your most recent income tax return
- Information about your savings and other assets
- Information about the monthly gross (before tax) income of your household, including recent pay stubs if you receive them or documentation of income you receive from other sources
How do I qualify for a mortgage modification?The first call you make should be to your lender, have the information above ready to discuss with them and call your customer service line to ask them what options you have available. If the person you speak with does not understand what you are asking, you can ask to be referred to one of the following departments (different lenders have different names for these departments):
- Loss Mitigation
- Mortgage Modification
What if I don’t qualify for a mortgage modification, can’t afford my home, and owe more than it’s worth?You are not alone and foreclosure is not the only option. If your mortgage lender or servicer will not work with you to reduce your payment, you may want to consider a short sale. Agents like us, with the Certified Distressed Property Expert® Designation, have undergone extensive training in how to process and negotiate short sales. A short sale allows you to sell your home for less than what you owe and avoid foreclosure. Speak to your market expert to see if you may qualify.
What is a Home Affordable Refinance?If Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac owns your mortgage, you may be eligible for a Home Affordable Refinance. This will allow you to refinance your home and often lower your payments.
What are the qualifications for a Home Affordable Refinance?According to the resources released by the government, following are a list of qualifications:
- You are the owner occupant of a one- to four-unit home
- The loan on your property is owned or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (see Useful Links)
- At the time you apply, you are current on your mortgage payments (you haven’t been more than 30 days late on your mortgage payment in the last 12 months, or if you have had the loan for less than 12 months, you have never missed a payment)
- You believe that the amount you owe on your first mortgage is about the same or slightly less than the current value of your house
- You have income sufficient to support the new mortgage payments, and the refinance improves the long-term affordability or stability of your loan