If I Continue To Pay My Mortgage, Will The New Mortgage Bailout Help Me?
Article by Patricia Payne
With the new mortgage bailout plan, many homeowners are questioning whether or not they should continue to pay their mortgages. If you do make your mortgage payments on time, can you still receive help from the proposed mortgage bailout plan?
The answer to this question is a definitive “maybe.” With the economic stimulus bill that passed into law by President Obama, billion will be allocated towards preventing four million homeowners from losing their home. However, neither paying nor stopping your mortgage is an automatic qualifier for help through this program.
How Will the Bailout Plan Work?
In 2008, over 1.3 million homes foreclosed as owners were unable to meet their monthly mortgage obligation. Most of these foreclosures were a result of either job loss or an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) payment ballooning beyond affordability. Millions of more homes are expected to enter into foreclosure over the next few years.
Mortgage companies are not in the business of repossessing homes and selling them. However, they can be hesitant to restructure a mortgage with a homeowner without the proper financial means to repay the principal and interest each month. With the new bailout, however, the million will be going toward guaranteeing mortgage companies a portion of the mortgage if they agree to restructure with a qualified homeowner.
Who Qualifies for Bailout Assistance?
How do homeowners in jeopardy of losing their homes qualify for a restructured mortgage? The main aspect that your lender and the government program will review is whether you have a financial hardship. They will look at whether you have lost income due to unemployment, layoffs, cutbacks at work, etc. A serious financial setback that puts you at risk of foreclosure will at least get you a review with the program.
However, you must be able to make a new mortgage payment. If you have suffered unemployment and have no future prospects for immediate employment, the mortgage company will assume that you do not have the means to repay the mortgage – and therefore, does not have any motivation to work with you. When you approach your lender to restructure, be sure that you can prove your means of making a monthly payment.
The other main issue that the bailout program will evaluate when determining your eligibility to restructure is if your current mortgage payment is greater than 31% of your gross monthly income. If so, you may qualify for a mortgage restructure to lower your payment to 31% or below.
Who Does Not Qualify for Assistance?
If you are not currently delinquent and can still make your mortgage payment, don’t expect to get help with the bailout program. Continue to make your mortgage payments on time and protect your credit history. Ultimately, you need to keep in contact with your lender and keep them informed of any changes in your financial situation. A borrower who is upfront with their lender is more likely to receive consideration from the lender in working out mortgage issues.
This article is intended for general information. Always seek sound financial and legal advice before making any financial decision.
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