HASP Foreclosure & Loan Modification: FAQ

Am I eligible to refinance my mortgage under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

In order to be eligible for refinancing under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan (HASP), you must:

  • live in your home,
  • the balance of your first mortgage must be roughly equal to or less than the current value of your home,
  • you must be current in your mortgage payments, and
  • you must have income sufficient to make your mortgage payments.

What if I'm behind on my mortgage, am I still eligible to refinance under HASP?

No. In order to be eligible for refinancing under the Plan, you must not have been more than thirty days late on a mortgage payment over the last twelve months.

How do I know if my loan servicer is participating in the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

You should check with your loan servicer to see if it is participating in the Plan. If your loan servicer is not participating in the Plan, you should still check with your loan servicer in order to see if it offers other types of programs that could allow you to maintain your home.  Also, contact an attorney in your area to discuss your eligibiltiy for loan modifications under this, or other, programs. 

Can I get cash equity from my home to pay off other debts under HASP?

No. The Plan only allows you to add the costs of the refinancing, such as appraisal or title fees, into the amount that you owe on your mortgage loan.

Can I refinance or modify the loan on my rental home or duplex?

Under certain federal loan modification or refinance programs, you cannot refinance or modify the loan on your rental or vacation home; you can only refinance or modify the loan on your primary residence for those programs. If you own a duplex, but you rent it out, you cannot refinance or modify the loan on that duplex. However, if you rent one side of the duplex and live in the other side, it is your primary residence, and you can refinance or modify the loan on the duplex.
However, your lender may certainly agree to a refinance or other assistance program on investment property. 

How do I know if my loan is owned or has been securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?

You should call your mortgage lender or servicer (the organization to whom you make your monthly mortgage payments) and ask about the program.

Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have established toll-free telephone numbers and web submission processes to make this data available. Borrowers will provide or enter information to determine if either agency owns or securitized the loan. This information is not a guarantee of eligibility for the refinance program, as other qualifying criteria must also be met.

Fannie Mae:  1-800-7FANNIE (8am to 8pm EST)
Freddie Mac:  1-800-FREDDIE (8am to 8pm EST)

I have already filed for bankruptcy.  Will the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan help me keep my home?

While the Plan does not contain specific provisions about consumers who are already in bankruptcy, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, which is currently pending before the U.S. Senate, does contain some provisions that can help you keep your home. The Act would give bankruptcy judges the authority to modify your mortgage loan in order to make it possible for you to continue living in your home. 

Are all mortgage loans eligible for refinancing or loan modification under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

Yes, most types of loans, including adjustable-rate mortgages, prime or sub-prime mortgages, and loans through Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, or private lenders are eligible under the Plan. Federal government loan programs, such as VA or FHA loans, also will be eligible under the Plan or some sort of similar program. 

What is deed-in-lieu of foreclosure?

A Deed in Lieu of foreclosure (DIL) is a disposition option in which a mortgagor voluntarily deeds collateral property in exchange for a release from all obligations under the mortgage. A DIL of foreclosure may not be accepted from mortgagors who can financially make their mortgage payments.

Do I have to undergo debt counseling to participate in either the loan modification or refinancing programs under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

Maybe. You will be eligible for free counseling if you participate in either of these programs. However, you are not required to participate in counseling unless you have very high debts in relation to the amount of your income. 

When and why does foreclosure begin?

Lenders will initiate foreclosure proceedings when homeowners become delinquent in their mortgage obligations, usually after three payments are missed. The lender will then notify the buyer in writing that he or she is in default. The lender can request a trustee's sale or a judicial foreclosure, in which the property is sold at public auction.

A borrower can cure the default by paying the overdue amount and the pending payment after the notice of default is recorded, usually no later than a few days before the property's sale. Some sales allow the successful bidder to take possession immediately. If the former owner refuses to vacate the premises, the court can issue an unlawful detainer that allows the sheriff to come out and evict them.

Borrowers should do everything they can to avoid foreclosure, which is one of the most damaging events that can occur in an individual's credit history.

My loan is scheduled for foreclosure. What should I do?

Many lenders and loan servicers have made a commitment to postpone foreclosure sales on mortgages that meet the minimum eligibility criteria for loan modification under various modification and refinance plans.  These lenders and servicers want to evaluate such loans so that eligible homeowners can obtain appropriate modifications and avoid foreclosure. 

However, the clock is often ticking.  Borrowers whose loans have been scheduled for foreclosure or any borrower that has missed one or more mortgage payments and has not yet spoken to their servicer should contact the servicer immediately.

Borrowers may also contact a HUD-approved housing counselor.  Borrowers are also encourgaged to discuss their situation with an attorney in order to maximize their chances for obtaining a loan modification quickly and efficiently. 

What is a pre-foreclosure sale?

HUD's Preforeclosure Sale (PFS) Program allows the mortgagor in default to sell his/her home and use the net sale proceeds to satisfy the mortgage debt even though these proceeds are less than the amount owed.

What is a Special Forbearance?

A Special Forbearance (SFB) is a written repayment agreement between a mortgagee and a mortgagor, which contains a plan to reinstate an asset that is minimum three mortgage payments due and unpaid. 

I have two mortgages on my home.  Can I modify or refinance both mortgage loans under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

No. Only your first mortgage is eligible for modification or refinancing under the Plan. 

What happens during Assumption of a mortgage?

Assumption of an FHA-insured mortgage is a servicing function where the responsibility of the mortgage is acquired by another person through either Simple or Creditworthiness process. Individuals may assume mortgages originated prior to December 1, 1986, by utilizing the “Simple Assumption” process. For those mortgages originated on December 1, 1986 and thereafter, HUD placed certain restrictions on the assumption of those FHA-insured mortgages and those mortgages have to go through the Creditworthiness Assumption process.

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