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PROGRAMS & OPTIONS

The following are the most common options that Borrowers facing a financial hardship currently have:

Forbearance

A forbearance agreement is made between a mortgage lender and delinquent borrower in which the lender agrees not to exercise its legal right to foreclose on a mortgage and the borrower agrees to a mortgage plan that will, over a certain time period, bring the borrower current on his or her payments. A forbearance agreement is not a long-term solution for delinquent borrowers; it is designed for borrowers who have temporary financial problems caused by unforeseen problems such as temporary unemployment or health problems.

PRO: You remain in your home. A temporary reduced or suspended payment provides time needed to save money, pay off other bills, find employment or additional employment, or recover from injury or illness.

CON:At the end of the forbearance period, your payment will be higher due to the past due amounts owed. Your mortgage payments could be 20% - 25% higher for a period of 1-year or more.

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Loan Modification

If you can make payments on your loan, but don't have enough money to bring your account current, your lender may be able to change the terms of your original loan to absorb your delinquent payments and make the payments more affordable. Your loan could be permanently changed by adding the missed payments to the back end of the existing loan balance, lowering the interest rate or making an adjustable rate fixed, or extending the number of years you have to repay your loan.

PRO: You remain in your home.

CON:Because of additional debt such as credit cards, car payments, medical bills, and student loans, most people do not qualify for a loan modification. If you purchased your home with little or no money down or your home has depreciated in value at a rate at or near the national average, you may not quality.

 

Short Sale

A short sale, also called "Short Pay" or "Pay Off", is a transaction that allows for the sale of a property for an amount that is less than the amount that is owed to the lender. The bank in return may accept the proceeds as full settlement of the debt.

PRO:Under the terms of a short sale, your lender may forgive your mortgage debt in its entirety according to the terms outlined in The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007. Fannie Mae has announced a reduced mandatory waiting period to establish credit history to 2 years after the completion of a short sale. This mandatory waiting period after a short sale is lower than the required 5-7 years following a foreclosure.

CON: You must sell your home.

 

Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure

If you are unable to bring your loan current or sell your home in a reasonable amount of time, your lender may agree to have you voluntarily transfer the deed to the property to them to help avoid the impact of a foreclosure on your credit rating.

PRO:By voluntarily transferring the deed, you save your lender tens-of-thousands of dollars in foreclosure proceedings. If you are willing to do this, Fannie Mae has reduced the mandatory waiting period to establish credit history to a minimum of 4 years. This mandatory waiting period after a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure is lower than the required 5-7 years following a foreclosure.

CON:Although a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure may have less impact than an actual foreclosure on your ability to establish homeownership in the future, if you are going to cooperate with your lender and take a proactive approach, a short sale is generally the better option.