The government’s Making Home Affordable Program, which included the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA), was developed in 2009 to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, stabilize the housing market, and improve the overall economy.
Unfortunately, the HAMP program has stopped accepting new applications and servicers stopped offering HAFA after December 30, 2016. But read on to find out what options are still available for homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments.
Even though HAMP and HAFA are done, you might qualify for another type of loss mitigation program through your servicer or the owner of the loan. For example, to replace HAMP, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-supported enterprises that own or back many mortgages, developed the Flex Modification program. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also offer short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure, and other relief options to borrowers facing foreclosure. (To learn more about different foreclosure avoidance options for homeowners with a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan, go to Fannie Mae’s Know Your Options website and Freddie Mac’s My Home website.)
Also, in-house (“proprietary”) modifications, forbearance agreements, or repayment plans are typically available as well. If you decide that it’s time to give up the property, you might be able to arrange a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure through a lender-based program.
To apply for a foreclosure avoidance option, you need to send an application along with supporting documentation—like pay stubs, tax returns, and bank statements—to your loan servicer. Contact your servicer to get an application.
After you send in your complete application, under federal law, the servicer generally can’t initiate or continue with a foreclosure. (Get an overview of federal foreclosure protections for homeowners.)
The servicer then evaluates the application and lets you know if you qualify for a foreclosure avoidance option.
If you’re struggling to make your mortgage payments and facing a possible foreclosure, contact your mortgage servicer or a HUD-approved housing counselor as soon as possible. (Learn about the benefits to using a HUD-approved housing counselor.)
If you want to learn about how foreclosure works in your state and find out about possible foreclosure defenses in your case, consider talking to a local foreclosure attorney.