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Need Help with Your Mortgage? Help is Still Available23Need Help with Your Mortgage? Help is Still Available<div class="ExternalClassB1676E30140B41AC9CD8666074063BC7"><p>​Still facing mortgage troubles? While the Making Home Affordable (MHA) program is no longer accepting applications, many options still exist for homeowners.  First, contact your mortgage company directly to find a possible solution to your mortgage troubles. You can also look to these federal and nonprofit organizations for information and assistance this year, and beyond. </p><ul><li> <strong>The U.S. Department of the Treasury Hardest Hit Fund<span style="font-family:"calibri","sans-serif";font-size:11pt;"><font color="#000000"><strong>®</strong></font></span><strong></strong> (HHF)</strong> </li></ul><blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px;"><p> <a href="" target="_blank">State housing finance agencies</a> use funds provided by the HHF to develop programs to help families avoid foreclosure in <a href="" target="_blank">18 states and the District of Columbia</a>. Many HHF programs include mortgage assistance for unemployed homeowners, principal reduction, funding to eliminate homeowners' second lien loans, and help for homeowners who are transitioning out of their homes. For details and to determine if your state has HHF funds available, contact your state's housing finance agency.</p></blockquote><ul><li><div> <strong>The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Housing Counseling Services</strong></div></li></ul><blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px;"><p>HUD sponsors housing counseling agencies throughout the country that can provide advice on buying a home, renting, mortgage default, foreclosure, and credit issues, at NO cost to you. <a href="" target="_blank">Use this tool</a> to search for a HUD-approved housing counseling agency near you. </p><p> </p></blockquote> <img alt="alternative mortgage help resources" src="/SiteCollectionImages/blog-images/MHA_Outside_Resources.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:497px;vertical-align:auto;float:right;" /> <p> </p><ul><li> <strong>Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF)</strong></li></ul><blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px;"><p>Partnered with and supported by HUD and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, HPF is a nonprofit organization that helps struggling homeowners navigate their budget problems and avoid mortgage foreclosure, free of charge. HPF also manages the Homeowners' HOPE™ Hotline at 888-995-HOPE™. Housing experts are available 24/7/365, providing free foreclosure prevention counseling and advice to homeowners in 170+ languages. Visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a> or call 888-995-HOPE today to learn more. </p></blockquote><ul><li><div> <strong>Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)</strong></div></li></ul><blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px;"><p>Known as the nation's top consumer watchdog agency, the CFPB shares resources for homeowners seeking <a href="" target="_blank">mortgage help</a>, along with information on <a href="" target="_blank">where to report mortgage modification scams</a>, should homeowners suspect they have been scammed by an individual or organization. </p></blockquote><ul><li><div> <strong>NeighborWorks America (NeighborWorks</strong><span style="font-family:"calibri","sans-serif";font-size:11pt;"><font color="#000000"><strong>®</strong></font></span><strong>)</strong></div></li></ul><blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px;"><p>NeighborWorks distributes grants to organizations that provide housing counseling services through the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program. These grants also fund legal assistance for homeowners and the training of foreclosure counselors. More than 2 million homeowners have been counseled through the program. <a href="" target="_blank">Learn more</a>. </p></blockquote><ul><li><div> <strong>HOPE NOW</strong></div></li></ul><blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px;"><p>HOPE NOW is an alliance between housing counseling agencies, mortgage companies, investors, regulators and other mortgage market participants. In addition to providing tools and resources homeowners can use to find housing counselors, information about scams, and more, HOPE NOW regularly hosts outreach events in cities across the country where homeowners can meet face-to-face with their mortgage company to find a workable solution on the spot. Visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a> for more information. </p></blockquote><p>Remember, just because MHA is no longer available for homeowners experiencing mortgage troubles, don't give up! Many of our partner organizations may be able to help. </p><p> </p><p> <em>Séan Bennett is Director of Marketing & Outreach for the Homeownership Preservation Office.</em></p> </div>2017-02-23T05:00:00Z
Clock is ticking: 4 Things to do BEFORE the MHA Deadline 22Clock is ticking: 4 Things to do BEFORE the MHA Deadline <div class="ExternalClass5FFE973E44D44557840B7158D6B32056"><p>​After nearly eight years of helping homeowners avoid foreclosure through the Making Home Affordable (MHA) Program, we are down to the wire as the program rapidly approaches its end later this month. Feeling like your chances of getting help through MHA are near impossible because we’re less than 30 days away from the application deadline? No need to worry just yet. Here are four things homeowners can do as the window of opportunity to apply for mortgage help through MHA comes to a close.  </p><ol><li> <strong>Spread the word: the MHA program REALLY will end after December 30, 2016. </strong>After recently traveling to one of our final partner events last month, we found that many individuals were skeptical that the program was ending after December 30, 2016. They cited previous deadline extensions and assumed there would be yet another extension this year. Some were completely unaware that the MHA Program was ending. It is important that we stress there is NO chance for another deadline extension and that the program REALLY is ending! In fact, Congress signed the deadline into law when it passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act in 2015. </li><li>Though the application deadline is less than 30 days away, <strong>homeowners still have time to gather documentation to make the application process easier.</strong> We’ve drafted a rough <a href="/SiteCollectionImages/blog-images/Timeline_Graphic_img.png">timeline for homeowners to use as a guide</a> while gathering the paperwork required to submit the Request for Mortgage Assistance (RMA). Homeowners MUST submit their application before midnight on December 30, 2016!</li><li>In addition to being aware of the deadline, <strong>be careful to avoid loan modification scams.</strong>  Many fraudsters are leveraging the MHA Program end date to pressure homeowners into applying for loan modifications that simply never come to fruition, often at a heavy cost. Be on the lookout for fake “government offerings” and remember, charging fees in advance of a mortgage modification is illegal in most cases. </li><li> <strong>Should you miss the MHA application date, or run into mortgage trouble after December 30, 2016, all is not lost.</strong> Many mortgage lenders have taken note of the positive effects the MHA Program has had on the loss mitigation industry, modeling their loan modification programs after ours. We, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury), along with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) even provided <a href="">guidelines</a> for the mortgage servicing industry to adopt as they retool and build out the framework for a standard universal modification process for the future. </li></ol><p> </p><p> <img alt="MHA ends Dec 30th. Call 888-995-4673 today" src="/SiteCollectionImages/blog-images/Blog_Image_Dec.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:500px;height:574px;" /> </p><p>Remember, there’s still time to apply for mortgage help through MHA, but troubled homeowners must act NOW to get the ball rolling on their journey to a more affordable mortgage. Still unsure of where to start? Call 888-995-HOPE™ (4673) to speak with a HUD-approved housing counselor who can help you through the process.  </p><p> <br> <em>Séan Bennett is Director of Marketing & Outreach for the Homeownership Preservation Office.</em></p></div>2016-12-05T05:00:00Z
Four Reasons HAFA Outshines Foreclosure21Four Reasons HAFA Outshines Foreclosure<div class="ExternalClass95AD0788100040E59365EFD6CB129028"><p>​When an unaffordable mortgage becomes too great a burden to bear, and all other options to modify or refinance have been exhausted, it may seem that foreclosure is the only option. That’s simply untrue! If you’re currently facing the possibility of foreclosure, consider the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives<sup>®</sup> (HAFA<sup>®</sup>) program. HAFA offers the homeowner an opportunity to exit the home and be relieved of the remaining mortgage debt through a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (DIL). </p><p>While some may consider a short sale a substantial setback in their homeownership journey, the benefits of HAFA far outweigh foreclosure. Not convinced?  Here are four reasons a HAFA short sale or a DIL provides a better alternative to foreclosure: </p><ol><li> <strong>HAFA provides $10,000 towards relocation expenses for a homeowner or tenant. </strong> A foreclosure makes the transition from your home to other living arrangements that much harder with no financial incentive. According to the <a href="">American Moving and Storage Association</a>, average costs for interstate household moves come in at $4,300, while intrastate household moves average $2,300. Homeowners (or tenants that lives in the property as a principal residence) can also use this assistance to tie up loose ends prior to the short sale transaction, and use the funds to pay off expenses such as costs of the homeowner’s legal representation in the short sale or DIL, overdue utility bills on the property, or minor repairs made after property inspection. </li><li> <strong>HAFA relieves homeowners of ALL mortgage debt on the property.</strong> In fact, our most recent stats show that homeowners are relieved of a median <a href="">$123,787 in mortgage debt after a HAFA transaction</a> (PDF). And, while a homeowner may no longer be responsible for paying the monthly mortgage after a foreclosure, some states require the homeowner to repay a portion of the mortgage debt even after the home has entered foreclosure.  Homeowners need not worry about these additional expenses when it comes to HAFA.</li><li> <strong>HAFA can provide homeowners with a shorter timeframe for financial recovery or home re-purchase than a foreclosure.</strong> Not only does a foreclosure severely damage a homeowner’s credit, finding rental housing or other living arrangements can prove to be extremely difficult as a result of poor credit. In many instances, a HAFA short sale or DIL has less adverse impact on a homeowner’s credit score than a foreclosure would. </li><li> <strong>HAFA provides homeowners with overall better management of their mortgage situation.</strong>  Unfortunately, foreclosures typically result in excessive mortgage-related fees due to the lengthy timeframe associated with the process.  With a HAFA short sale or DIL, the homeowner is in a better position to plan and control the timing of their transition out of the home. </li></ol><p><img src="/spanish/SiteCollectionImages/blog-images/HAFA_vs_Fourclosure_Blog_op2.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;" />Leaving a home is never easy for homeowners who have worked hard and exhausted all other options to keep their home. HAFA can help make the transition just a little less stressful and put homeowners in a better position to own another home in the future. If you or someone you know is considering a short sale or DIL or would like to learn more about HAFA, call 888-995-HOPE™(4673) to find out if a short sale or DIL may be right for you. <br></p><p> <em> <font color="#555555" face="Helvetica">Séan Bennett is Director of Marketing & Outreach for the Homeownership Preservation Office.</font></em></p></div>2016-09-13T04:00:00Z
MHA Ends This Year. Here Are Four Things to Know.20MHA Ends This Year. Here Are Four Things to Know.<div class="ExternalClass40463B50BB7F472598F60D91E564A3A2"><p>​Have you heard? The Making Home Affordable (MHA) Program is set to conclude at the end of this year. What does that mean?  <br>Well, we’ll be winding down and retiring all programs under MHA.  This includes the Home Affordable Modification Program<sup>SM</sup> (HAMP<sup>®</sup>), Second Lien Modification Program<sup>SM</sup> (2MP<sup>SM</sup>), Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives<sup>®</sup> (HAFA<sup>®</sup>) Program, Home Affordable Unemployment Program<sup>SM</sup> (UP<sup>SM</sup>), Treasury Federal Housing Administration HAMP (Treasury FHA-HAMP), and Rural Development HAMP (RD-HAMP).<br><img src="/spanish/SiteCollectionImages/blog-images/Blog_MHA_Sunset_op1.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:450px;height:431px;" /></p><p> <strong>Is there a chance the deadline could be extended into 2017? </strong> <br>No.  Although MHA was extended in previous years, the current 2016 deadline is firm. In December 2015, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 to terminate MHA programs on December 31, 2016. Our deadline has been signed into law!  While the end of the program is approaching, don’t worry—there is still time to gather your information to apply for MHA <br>assistance. As long as you, the homeowner, submit an application for HAMP on or before December 30, 2016, you will still be considered for HAMP. </p><p> <strong>What does this mean for those who have yet to reach out for MHA assistance?</strong><br>The deadline to apply for mortgage assistance from HAMP, is <span style="text-decoration:underline;">December 30, 2016</span>. After the HAMP application deadline, your mortgage company may also consider you for their own loan modification programs.</p><p> <strong>I’ve been looking into a HAFA short sale. Is there anything I need to know? </strong> <br>Yes!  First things first: you must submit a request for HAFA assistance to your mortgage company (via phone, mail, fax, or email) for consideration for a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (DIL). Some mortgage companies have already set their own deadlines for requesting HAFA assistance—be sure to contact your mortgage company directly for their specific deadlines.  </p><p>Second, if you request a short sale or DIL, mortgage companies must provide you either a short sale notice containing a pre-approval of a HAFA short sale or DIL, an offer of a DIL, or the approval of an executed sales contract for a short sale on or before December 30, 2016.</p><p>Last, the closing date for a HAFA transaction must occur on or before December 1, 2017.</p><p> <strong>I’m unemployed and interested in UP.  What do I need to know?</strong><br>You should reach out to your mortgage company for their specific UP application deadlines. To be eligible for UP, the forbearance plan must be approved by your servicer on or before December 30, 2016. Keep in mind that mortgage companies may also consider you for their own forbearance plan instead of an UP forbearance. </p><p>We hope this high-level overview helps clarify some misconceptions and/or questions regarding the end of the MHA program. Reach out to your mortgage company for any specific questions related to your personal situation. As always, we encourage you contact MHA for mortgage assistance. Help is just a phone call away – dial 888-995-HOPE today.   <br></p><p> <em>Séan Bennett is Director of Marketing & Outreach for the Homeownership Preservation Office.</em></p></div> 2016-07-28T04:00:00Z
Sustaining the American Dream Just as Important as Obtaining It19Sustaining the American Dream Just as Important as Obtaining It<div class="ExternalClass22C0FB2882064382A18A70321CFB7E00"><p>Every June, we celebrate National Homeownership Month—a time when the housing industry, government agencies, community advocates, and others share valuable information about housing and the benefits of homeownership. While the broader conversation of Homeownership Month primarily centers on the home buying process, Making Home Affordable (MHA) recognizes the importance of helping current homeowners sustain the American dream of homeownership. </p><p> Unfortunately, events like the Great Recession can cause homeowners to fall on tough financial times, which may affect their ability to pay the mortgage, afford basic necessities, and care for their family. MHA programs help pave the way to a more stable, affordable mortgage. We believe in the power of homeownership, and we’ve fought hard over the past seven years to provide tangible savings and valuable incentives. MHA has helped almost two million homeowners sustain their American dream. </p><p><img src="/spanish/SiteCollectionImages/blog-images/HomeownershipMonth_Blog_Image.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /> </p><p> <strong> <em>Tangible Savings</em> </strong></p><p>With the Home Affordable Modification Program<sup>SM</sup> (HAMP<sup>®</sup>), homeowners in a permanent modification save an average of <strong>$479 per month</strong>, or <strong>$5,748 yearly</strong>, on mortgage payments and receive an average of <strong>$63,000 in principal reduction</strong>. Additionally, homeowners in permanent HAMP and Second Lien Modification Program<sup>SM</sup> (2MP<sup>SM</sup>) modifications save a combined average of <strong>$766 per month</strong>, or <strong>$9,192 yearly</strong>, on mortgage payments. That’s <em>real</em> monthly and yearly savings. Those savings can make the difference between <a href="/pages/blog-internal.aspx?ID=11">covering household expenses</a> and building toward a more stable financial situation. Principal reduction serves as a great benefit to the many homeowners whose home value has yet to match that of their mortgage loan. </p><p> <strong> <em>Valuable Incentives</em></strong> </p><p>Homeowners in a permanent HAMP modification can earn up to <strong>$10,000 in principal reduction </strong>just for making their mortgage payment in full and on time—up to $1,000 per year for the first five years and a $5,000 one-time payment at the end of year six applied to their unpaid principal balance. Combined with the monthly savings, homeowners can lower their mortgage balance over the life of the loan. </p><p> <strong> <em>Real Results </em></strong></p><p>Since 2009, we’ve helped more than <strong>1.8 million families </strong>avoid foreclosure, saving homeowners nearly $43 billion program-to-date. Not only that, MHA provides <strong>FREE post-modification housing counseling</strong> to homeowners with a permanent HAMP modification. Housing counselors have proven to be invaluable in helping homeowners manage finances, rebuild credit, and reduce debt. But our work isn’t finished yet! With the final day to apply for help through MHA approximately six months away (December 30, 2016), there’s no better time for homeowners to get started on their journey to continued and affordable homeownership. Call 888-995-HOPE™(4673) or explore to learn how MHA can help homeowners in need. </p><p><em>Sean Bennett is Director of Marketing for the Homeownership Preservation Office.</em></p> </div>2016-06-24T04:00:00Z


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Last Updated: 1/29/2016 12:00 PM