Struggling homeowners that have Freddie Mac mortgages will have a new opportunity for loan modifications beginning next month.
The new option is called a Standard Modification. It is intended for borrowers who are ineligible for a Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) loan modification, or have previously defaulted on a HAMP or other loan mod. If you are approved, the mortgage principle and monthly payment will be reduced by at least 10 percent, making the payments more affordable.
To qualify, you must be at least 60 days past due on your mortgage. If you are not at least 60 days past due, you could qualify if you can prove that you are in imminent danger of default. This would mean you must provide proof of an eligible hardship and providing verification of income.
Mortgages that are approved for modification will have their interest rates modified to 5 percent and the amortization period extended to 40 years from the time of the modification.
Similar to HAMP, borrowers approved for the program must undergo a three-month trial period during which they must keep up with their new payment schedule before the loan modification is finalized and made permanent. Lenders approving the new standard modification will receive cash incentives of up to $1,600 per homeowner approved to encourage them to finalize a borrower’s status within 2 months of the end of the trial period.
Lenders may begin trial modifications for approved homeowners under the program as soon as Oct. 1, 2011. As of Jan. 1, 2011, all borrowers seeking a loan modification of any type on a Freddie Mac-supported mortgage must be evaluated for eligibility under the program.
The new Standard Modification replaces the existing Freddie Mac loan modification called a Debt Coverage Ratio, which now is being referred to as a Classic Modification. The government’s HAMP loan modification will continue to be available as well.
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