Applications Closing August 2022

HOMEOWNER RELIEF STIMULUS

Homeowners are advised to take advantage of a new Mortgage Stimulus Program before it’s gone. This is likely to be the largest benefit program American homeowners have seen.

This Stimulus Program is aimed to help average American citizens and stimulate the economy. Utilizing this new service could get homeowners $271 /mo* or $3,252* per year!

Banks do not want homeowners to know about these programs as they can greatly lower mortgage payments through this simple Government-backed solution.

We recommend checking your eligibility as soon as possible before deadlines are announced or requirements are changed.

To see if you live in an active zip code, just click below.
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*https://www.forbes.com/advisor/refiroadmap/

¹ – http://www.fanniemae.com/resources/file/aboutus/media/HARP-Research-Report-030613.pdf

* – Based on Median Home Equity of Americans aged 45 to 54 of $70,000 (U.S. Census Bureau)

Table of Contents

3+ Refinance Mortgage Federal Programs (Which One Is Right For You?)

Refinance Mortgage Federal Program

Homeowners have an opportunity to enjoy low-interest rates and monthly payments with mortgage relief and congress mortgage stimulus. CARES Act advised homeowners with single-family mortgages backed federally facing financial hardships due to the coronavirus to avoid making payments up to 360 days.

They also availed forbearance to multifamily unit owners with federally-backed mortgages for 90 days. In the wake of the financial crisis in 2020, other authorities like American Rescue Plan and presidential executive loans have also provided mortgage relief to homeowners. Covid-19 mortgage relief benefits individuals with federally-backed and government-sponsored venture loans.

These loans have been insured and guaranteed by the following bodies:

  • The Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
  • Section 255 of the Housing Act administered by the Housing and Urban Development Department involves home equity mortgages (HUD)
  • U.S Veteran Affairs Department (VA)
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Residential owners, landlords, and commercial property owners can hold federal mortgages, but the regulations vary. Government-backed mortgages like FHA and V.A. provide Streamline Refinance options that are quick and affordable.

Additionally, these relief programs have reduced qualifying requirements and require little paperwork. Plus, they take up fewer resources than a standard refinance. However, if the federal government backs your mortgage, you cannot take advantage of other mortgage-relief programs like HIRO and FMERR.

Homeowners are eligible for Streamline Refinance if they have a USDA, FHA, or V.A. loan, and they can significantly benefit from reduced mortgage rates. Further, they should not have missed payments in the last six months.

During the week of 6 January 2021, the fixed-rate mortgage experienced a decline to the lowest rate. Freddie Mac agency has been tracking mortgage rates for about 50 years, and it says the rates are the lowest ever recorded in history.

Until 2018, there was HARP to help homeowners who owed more than the value of their homes now; there is the dilemma of what they will do. Fortunately, today there are refinance programs that can help homeowners with little to no equity to refinance at lower mortgage rates. To refinance standard loans, you need a 10-20% equity.

Refinance without HIRO and FMERR programs.

There is no better time to be a homeowner than this period. The value of homes is rising quickly, and there are numerous mortgage refinance plans to help you if you cannot keep up with payments.

What’s more, mortgage rates are lower, enabling homeowners to save on their monthly payments. There is good news if you do not qualify for conventional refinancing programs due to little or no equity. With the steady increase in property values, fewer homeowners are underwater. Therefore, you may be able to refinance without HIRO and FMERR programs.

Homeowners have received relief from successive stimulus bills. Plus, the American Rescue Plan has extended the mortgage forbearance and foreclosure moratorium till the end of June. The federal government has launched legislation intending to ease the financial crisis caused by the pandemic.

Individuals who depend on stable incomes to pay for mortgages are vulnerable due to the struggling job market. The CARES Act launched in March 2020 offered assistance to homeowners with illnesses and income loss struggling to cover mortgage payments. The congress stimulus package encompassed mortgage-relief programs.

These programs provide relief through mortgage forbearance and foreclosure moratorium to help homeowners keep their homes through financial hardships.

Mortgage Forbearance

Government bodies are offering mortgage forbearance to give extra time to struggling homeowners. Covid mortgage forbearance applies to individuals whose finances have been directly or indirectly affected by the corona outbreak.

In addition, it is available for homeowners with federally eligible loans like FHA, VA, USA, Fannie Ma, and Freddie Mac. Homeowners who are unable to make scheduled mortgage payments due to financial hardships can pause their mortgage payments.

The program provides relief for nearly three to six months, but homeowners can also extend it to 12 months. Some individuals may be able to apply for mortgage forbearance for up to 18 months, depending on when they lodged their first claim.

While the break may be necessary, you should not use the relief for longer periods than necessary. During the pause, interest rates continue to accrue, and you will need to make up for missed payments. A recent stimulus bill has extended the forbearance relief application date to 30 June 2021 for people with V.A., HUD, or FHA loans.

Homeowners with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae mortgages do not have a deadline, and they can request up to 18 months of forbearance. To qualify, you must have been in a forbearance program since 30 September 2021. The same rule applies to individuals with HUD, USDA, OR VA-backed mortgages.

If you have multifamily rental properties with a mortgage backed by the federal government, you have an extension of the forbearance deadline, but the new deadline is yet to be set. Remember, if you have active forbearance for multifamily homes, you must:

  • Have a written document to tenants of their protections during the forbearance
  • Avoid evicting tenants due to rent defaults
  • If tenants need to vacate for other reasons, give them a 30-day notice
  • Agree to forego late payment penalties
  • Allow tenants to repay rent within a period instead of demanding a lump sum

When a private lender or CARES act offers you forbearance, you need to review the contract terms first before signing it. Some private lenders may allow you to defer mortgage payments for a short period and require a balloon payment.

How to Request Forbearance

You will need to contact the agency to which you make your mortgage payments to request forbearance. When making the request, you need to submit your affirmation of financial strains, so you can do it over the phone.

Your first forbearance can last up to 180 days, but you can also extend it with 180 0r 365 days, depending on the starting date of your initial forbearance. Multifamily units’ landlords must be current with their payments to be eligible for forbearance relief.

They are required to submit oral or written requests for their services. Servicers can approve initial forbearance within 30 days and subsequent extensions within 60 days. Homeowners with a federally eligible mortgage on multifamily properties or residential homes have the right to halt forbearance whenever necessary

Features of Forbearance

Most people wonder how forbearance works. Here is a list of what this Mortgage-Relief does.

  • No interest and penalties: When granted forbearance, your servicer cannot impose additional fees and interests they would not charge if you made your total payments on time. Further, landlords should not charge their tenants penalties for late rent payments during the forbearance period.
  • Credit bureaus reporting: Lenders cannot report homeowners in forbearance programs to credit bureaus for missed payments. Though you are not paying your mortgage or are making partial payments, your credit score will not be affected.
  • Evictions and foreclosures: If you have a federally backed loan, there are no evictions and foreclosures through 30 September 2021.

Foreclosure Moratorium

While forbearance provides you extra time to pay your mortgage, a foreclosure moratorium protects you from the harsh consequences of missing scheduled payments.

With a foreclosure moratorium, a loan servicer cannot start foreclosure proceedings until 30 June 2021. As a result, you have extra time to gather the cash you need to make missed payments and avoid eviction.

After the extension of the Mortgage Stimulus program, the White House published a fact sheet that showed that nearly 10 million homeowners are struggling to make scheduled payments as of February 2021, presenting greater risks for eviction.

What Happens to Homeowners With Non-government-backed Mortgages?

Regulators believe that lenders who give non-government-backed loans tend to adopt the CARES Act and subsequent legislation policies.

It would help if you talked to your loan servicer to ask about their Mortgage-Relief programs for homeowners affected by the pandemic. Although CARES Act does not mandate private lenders to offer homeowners mortgage assistance, it limits them from reporting to credit bureaus for paused payments after entering an agreement.

Many people ask how they would know if the federal government backs their loans. If you are unsure about this, take the following actions:

  • If you do not know your servicer, check the Mortgage Electronic Registration system
  • Call your servicer who will inform you of the owner of your mortgage and provide their contact details
  • Use Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae’s online loan lookup tools to know if these government-backed mortgage providers own your loan

Additional Assistance

At the end of your forbearance period, you may request for additional assistance. You will have to ask your service your options, but still, resume making your payments. They may suggest reducing your monthly payments or other forms of loan modification.

If your lender agrees to modify your loan, they cannot report you to credit bureaus as not being current on the loan. Consolidated Appropriations and American Rescue Pan Acts programs provide homeowners and landlords financial assistance under the homeowner Assistance Fund and the Emergency Rental Assistance program.

Homeowner Assistance Fund

It was introduced to prevent loss of utilities, mortgage defaults, foreclosures, defaults, and eviction of homeowners. The agencies prioritize funds for individuals who have experienced the greatest financial hardships.

The regulatory bodies updated the funds’ guidance on 12 November 2021 to extend application deadlines for the funds in specific areas. You can use the funds to:

  • Make mortgage payments
  • Pay for utilities
  • Acquire homeowners insurance
  • Cater for other essential needs like homeowners association fees

The regulatory bodies distribute home assistance funds to states for redistribution to homeowners. They also provide guidance for creating home assistance fund plans. Once your state has approved the plans and gets its system running, you can request the funds.

Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program

The Emergency Rental Assistance program offers homeowners funding to pay rent and utilities. The Treasury directly provides the ERA funds to entities, including states and local governments, which they distribute to rental assistance programs to help renters.

You need to apply for funds through the correct entities to get assistance. The Treasury has formed websites with rental assistance programs in different areas to help tenants and landlords. The information will direct you to the right state, where you will know how to apply and receive the funds.

FMERR and HIRO

The HARP government program that existed between April 2009 and the end of 2018 helped over 3.5 million homeowners to refinance their Freddie or Fannie mortgages.

In recent years agencies have introduced FMERR and HIRO to offer Mortgage-Relief refinance. FMERR and HIRO became handy when homeowners whose home values were lower than their mortgage balances were prevented from enjoying the low-interest rates.

These programs allow underwater homeowners to refinance their mortgages. The programs are halted due to a lower number of applicants. Many homeowners have rising equity allowing them to refinance to lower payments without needing special programs.

The HIRO program is referred to as a middle-class Mortgage Stimulus Package because it replaced HARP and helps borrowers refinance their mortgages without needing equity. Secondly, the program assists underwater homeowners to get reduced payments and rates.

Refinancing puts back a significant amount of money into people’s pockets, stimulating the economy. In addition, HIRO has other benefits; you can be eligible for an appraisal waiver. Though you may need an appraisal, the home’s value will not matter since you can still refinance at a lower rate.

The HIRO eligibility requirements are pretty simple. If you meet the criteria, you will have access to lower mortgage rates. You qualify for the mortgage relief if:

  • Fannie Mae owns your mortgage
  • Your loan originated after 1 October 2017
  • Your mortgage balance for a single unit, owner-occupied home is above 97.1% of your property’s market value
  • Within the last six months, you have made on-time mortgage payments
  • The period between the note date of the existing and new home loan is a minimum of 15 months

If you have a mortgage through Freddie Mac and have little or no equity, you can take advantage of the historically low rates with the FMERR program. You are eligible for the mortgage relief program if:

  • Freddie Mac owns your mortgage. You can know this by using Freddie Mac’s lookup tool on their website
  • Your loan originated on or after 1 November 2018
  • You have a minimum LTV of 97.01% for a single unit, owner-occupied dwelling
  • Within the last six months, you have made on-time mortgage payments
  • Your mortgage balance for a single unit, owner-occupied home is above 97.1% of your property’s market value

FAQs

Who is Eligible for Mortgage Relief Programs?

You may qualify for more than one mortgage relief program even when your home value is lower than the mortgage balance, depending on your mortgage type.

Does Biden Have a Mortgage Stimulus Program

Yes. The White House press release explains that Biden extended the enrollment period for mortgage forbearance and foreclosure moratorium for homeowners with government-backed loans shortly after taking office.

Moreover, Biden’s American Rescue Plan sets aside money for homeowner assistance funds to encourage loan modifications and reduction of monthly payments.

Can You Modify Your Loan After Forbearance Ends?

Yes. Lenders are required to modify loans for homeowners facing hardships. So, though the forbearance period ends, your home will not be foreclosed due to the new regulations in place.

Conclusion

If you face financial hardships, you have many options to consider rather than stopping your payments. Whether you have a government or private lender-backed loan defaulting payments without communicating can have severe consequences like additional fees, negative credit rating, and possible eviction.

It would help to call the mortgage servicer and explain your struggles with making payments. You can also check the numerous mortgage relief refinancing programs to see if you are eligible for lower interest rates and monthly payments.