New Government Mortgage Help Plan – Will It Work This Time?
The federal government announced the expanded Government Mortgage Help Plan on 26March 2010 at the White House. As this is a follow-up of the previous plans that went in vain, people wonder whether the new plan will prove effective. With this revised plan, the government aims at helping not only the 7 million households that are on their mortgages, but also the 11 million homeowners who owe more on mortgages than the market value of their houses.
The Two Target Groups
Government mortgage programs always try to help borrowers come out of their debt problem. The newly announced Government Mortgage Help Plan is said to target two groups of the mortgage victims.
Borrowers that owe more on their mortgages than their houses are expected to benefit from the plan. As reported by Moody’s Analytics, 15 million+ house owners fall under this category. Among them, around 10 million owe a minimum of 20% more than their household’s market price.
As per the plan, their mortgage companies (first-time lenders) get financial incentives so that they can cut the total amount the borrowers have to pay. Those that are still on their mortgages can refinance loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). To avail this assistance, the borrowers need to have a credit score of at least 500 and must meet FHA’s qualifications.
Assistance to Unemployed Borrowers is the main focus of the recently released Government Mortgage Help Plan. The plan has given time for jobless borrowers to seek a job. For three to six months, their monthly payment is reduced to 31% of their income or less or dropped completely.
If they manage to get a job within the mentioned period, they will be lucky, as they will become eligible for a loan modification program that will permanently minimize their payable amount under the billion loan modification program of the government.
To be eligible for unemployment benefits, the borrowers have to meet HAMP eligibility requirements and should be in the first 90 days of delinquency. At the end of the assistance period, borrowers are evaluated for loan modification alternatives.
Will It Work This Time?
For the revised Government Mortgage Help Plan to work, it needs cooperation from several parties. The lender must agree to cut the principal balance for a deal to work. Also, the bank that holds the secondary mortgage of the house has to give its acceptance. The only advantage for a first-time lender is a quick escape from a loan that is going to default. Lenders feel a bit bad about the new program.
As reported by Yahoo Finance, “Still, analysts said this effort has a better chance of success than past efforts because it would reduce principal for some struggling borrowers — a method more effective at helping homeowners than reducing interest payments or other forms of aid. Laurie Goodman, a widely followed mortgage securities analyst with Amherst Securities Group, called it a huge step forward.”
New Government Mortgage Programs are generally introduced to overcome the pitfalls of previous plans. Obama’s expanded mortgage modification effort is one such revised program that will certainly do better to stop the foreclosure crisis. However, some economists still doubt whether the new Government Mortgage Help Plan will do well this time.