November 4, 2011:
President Obama announced this week executive changes to HAMP, the Home Affordable Refinance Program, designed to encourage mortgage modifications and prevent the continuing rise of foreclosures in the United States. The changes are meant to promote refinances by relaxing the eligibility standards from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac government backed loans to include loans that may be underwater. However, be aware that these revisions will not apply if there has been a delinquency in the past year – which will severely curtail its effectiveness as a broad based foreclosure alternative. Since successful mortgage modifications offered through HAMP remain voluntary by the mortgage companies, and offered in a very small percentage of cases, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, with its five year mortgage arrears cure, or the new Loss Mitigation Program established by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey effective August 1, 2011 remains at this time, the best, if not the only hope of preserving homes in distress.