New Help for Unemployed Homeowners | Smart Unemployment

New Help for Unemployed Homeowners

The Obama administration is working to help out-of-work homeowners stay in their homes. In addition to encouraging Americans keep their homes and manage their monthly bills, the government is attempting to help the housing market (and the economy), through this program, by preventing the price declines associated with foreclosures.

What Does The Program Do?

Beginning August 1st, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will be extending the time period that unemployed homeowners can skip mortgage payments before the foreclosure process begins. Right now, the grace period is only three months.

Starting August 1st, this will be extended to 12 months. This means that if you are currently out of work you will be able to go without making a mortgage payment for 12 months before your lender could begin the foreclosure process.

Who Is Eligible?

The one “catch” with this program is that is only applicable to homeowners whose loans are backed by the Federal Housing Administration. Approximately 14% of all mortgages (and 25% of new mortgages) are backed by the FHA.

Homeowners who are participating in the Home Affordable Modification Program would also be eligible for this extended grace period.

What About Other Homeowners?

The Obama administration would like other mortgage lenders, specifically Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to participate in this new program. So far, however, they have decided not to join. Note: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back 90% of new mortgages in the United States.

Broader Changes to Mortgage Rules

In addition to the changes mentioned, additional housing rules will be taking place starting October 1st. These rules will be adopted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and therefore applicable to many more Americans. If any of the following conditions occur, you will be able to delay payment for up to one year:

  • If your home has been destroyed
  • If you or one of your dependents has a long-term illness or disability
  • If the borrower has passed away and the property is in probate



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5 comments to Foreclosure Assistance 071211

  • This may not be the best place to ask this, but I want to know if I’m eligible for a short sale and I don’t know how to find a local, highly regarded realtor… do you know anything about this realtor? They’re listed in the city of sacramento, not too far from me and I can’t find reviews on them – Becky Lund & Associates – Sacramento Realtors, 8814 Madison Avenue #2 Fair Oaks, CA 95628 (916) 531-7124

  • I have a fha loan with Bank of America. I called there bank about my mortgage and no one knew anything about this new law beginning August 1st.

  • [...] First and foremost, approximately 14% of mortgages are backed by the FHA.  The numbers go slightly up (to 25%) for new mortgages, but the fact remains that a lot of people aren’t covered by HAMP (Smart Unemployment). [...]

  • Donna

    How about any American making over $100,000 a year go on minimum wage for one year and see how they manage and pay their bills. It’s a disgrace that this country can help everyone but their own! Come on man up try minimum wage for a year. Give the 99ers tier 5! Election year will be here sooner than we think. Unemployed can still vote or has that changed?

  • geneva morgan

    Most of the information on avoiding foreclosure is bogus. I have enough income to pay my mortgage, but I was told I need more to qualify for the government modification. If I had more income I wouldn’t need to modify. Why can’t the government do something that make sense.

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