"What is HAFA, HAMP, HARP, etc.?"
Staying on top of the string of programs created to help owners caught up in the perfect storm of a high unemployment, rampant underemployment and declining home values, can be confusing to say the least. Here’s a brief overview of the acronyms spawned by the foreclosure crisis: HAFA—The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program was designed to help homeowners to avoid the negative effects of foreclosure by establishing incentives for completing a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. In a short sale, the loan servicer accepts a loan payoff amount from an underwater borrower that is less than the amount actually owed on the first mortgage. With a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, the borrower transfers ownership of the property to the loan servicer. HAFA provides for $3,000 in relocation assistance after a successful short sale or deed-in-lieu. HAMP—The Home Affordable Modification Program was designed to help homeowners who are no longer able to make mortgage payments on time due to decreased income or an increase in the monthly payment amount. HAMP reduces a homeowner’s monthly mortgage payment to 31 percent of gross income following a series of steps on the part of the mortgage servicer that can include a rate reduction, a term extension of up to 40 years, deferred principal payments, and (possibly) a lowering of principle. HARP—The Home Affordable Refinance Program enables homeowners whose mortgages are backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and who owe more than their home it’s worth, to refinance and take advantage of today’s historically low interest rates. Originally, HARP was only available to homeowners whose first mortgage did not exceed 125 percent of the current market value of their home. HARP 2.0—Starting Dec. 1, 2011, the 125 percent loan-to-value ratio will be eliminated, enabling eligible borrowers to refinance under HARP regardless of how far underwater they are on their mortgage.
© 2001-2013 Reliance Network and RE/MAX of Tennessee.
All rights reserved. US Reg. Copyright TX-5-910-991, TX-5-910-992, TX-5-910-993, and TX-5-910-994.
Each RE/MAX® Office is Independently Owned and Operated. Equal Housing Opportunity.