Government Making Home Affordable Refinance And Loan Modification Program: Do I Qualify?

The last few days I’ve been hearing an awful lot about the Government’s new “Making Home Affordable” program, which has been set up to help people refinance existing mortgages, or do a loan modification to help them to stay in their house.  The government’s website explains what the program is meant to do:

Making Home Affordable is a plan to stabilize our housing market and help up to 7 to 9 million Americans reduce their monthly mortgage payments to more affordable levels.

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The Home Affordable Refinance Program gives up to 4 to 5 million homeowners with loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac an opportunity to refinance into more affordable monthly payments. The Home Affordable Modification Program commits $75 billion to keep up to 3 to 4 million Americans in their homes by preventing avoidable foreclosures.

making-home-affordable

Some of my friends have already started the process of refinancing their home through this program, when just a few months ago they were unable to refinance because their loan to value ratio on their house was below 80/20.  Apparently under this plan doing those types of refinances, even up to 105% of the value of the home, should be possible.

Eligibility For Making Home Affordable Refinance and Loan Modification Program

Of primary importance in determining whether or not you are eligible for doing a refinance under this program, is who backs your particular loan.   For purposes of this program only Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac backed loans are eligible for The Making Home Affordable Refinance Plan.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac use different sets of refinancing rules, so before proceeding any further, you’ll need to figure out if your loan is backed by either.

Who Backs Your Loan?

To find out if your loan is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, check these websites:

  • Fannie Mae’s Mortgage Lookup Form: Fannie has a larger market share, so check here first.  This one won’t ask for a social security number. You can also call: 1-800-7FANNIE (8am to 8pm EST).
  • Freddie Mac Mortgage Lookup Form:  If Fannie Mae isn’t showing your loan on their books, try out Freddie Mac to see if they back your loan.  Requires SSN.  You can also call: 1-800-FREDDIE (8am to 8pm EST)

Once you’ve figured out if your loan is owned by Fannie or Freddie, write it down on your mortgage statement. Next,  it’s time to figure out if you’re eligible for the refinance or loan modification programs.

Are You Eligible For The Government Program?

To be eligible for the refinance you must meet these criteria:

  • Loans originated on or before January 1, 2009.
  • Your loan is is owned/backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (You figured this out in step one above)
  • You are current on your mortgage payments, no 30 day deliquencies in the past 12 months.
  • You have income to support the new mortgage payments.
  • Your first mortgage will not exceed 105% of the current market value of the property.

To be eligible for the loan modification you must meet these criteria:

  • Your loan must have been obtained on or before January 1, 2009.
  • First-lien loans on owner-occupied properties with an unpaid principle balance up to $729,750
  • Document income with signed IRS 4506-T, two most recent pay stubs, and most recent tax return.
  • Sign an affidavit of financial hardship.
  • Modify by December 31, 2012.
  • Have a mortgage payment that is no longer affordable, examples include significant change in income or expenses.
  • The mortgage loan is in danger of  going into default or loan is currently in foreclusure.
  • Your loan does not necessarily have to be backed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae
  • Only the first mortgage is eligible for a modification if you have a second. (UPDATE: Second mortgage may now be eligible. Check here)

Again, to figure out if you are eligible for the Making Home Affordable program, go to the government’s website and answer their simple questionnaire.  If you meet the criteria above, you should reach a page at the end of the process telling you that yes, you are eligible.   Try it out at the link below:

The Next Step – Refinancing Or Modifying Your Loan

Now that you’ve determined that your loan is backed by Fannie or Freddie, and you’ve confirmed that you meet the eligibility requirements, what’s the next step?

First, you should get all of the following paperwork together so that when you call your loan servicer and ask about your options under the Making Home Affordable program, you’ll be ready to go. You’ll need:

  • Information about monthly gross income, including recent pay stubs if the borrowers are salaried and receive them and documentation of any income received from other sources.
  • Most recent income tax return.
  • Information about assets.
  • Information about any second mortgage on the house.
  • Account balances and minimum monthly payments due on all credit cards.
  • Account balances and monthly payments on all other debts such as student loans and car loans.

Finally, you should call your mortgage servicer or lender and ask about the Home Affordable Refinance or Loan Modification application process, and what your options are under the program. Their phone number should be on your monthly mortgage bill or coupon book.  Once you enter the process, be patient as lenders are receiving a lot of applications, and it may take some time to get things moving.

For more details about the refinance and loan mod programs, check out these FAQs

Are you currently trying to refinance or modify your home loan under the Making Home Affordable program? What has your experience been like so far?  Any tips or pointers to make it easier for others? Tell us about it in the comments!

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Last Edited: 12th June 2012

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  1. Lynn says

    As far as I know (from what Wells Fargo tells me) the mortgage companies don’t even know the details of the refinance plan yet. I called Wells to confirm my mortgage was Fannie/Freddie backed and they said they still have no details. I am hoping this changes soon.

    • says

      You can find out if your loan is fannie or freddie backed through the links above – super easy. As far as Wells Fargo not knowing the details yet, there seems to be some of that going around. Some know, others don’t. Only thing I can say is keep trying!

      • Justin says

        Wells Fargo knows all about it and has known about it for 1 month. Call 1-800-572-3358 if you have a Wells Fargo Loan and you want to look into the loan modification program.

      • Kaycee says

        Wells Fargo like all other major banks, are in process of cleaning up a huge mortgage mess. As a servicing bank, neither Wells Fargo or any other bank for that matter have a lot of say so in how your Freddie Mac loan is handled. Servicing your loan means that the bank is the middleman not the originator.
        I understand the frustration of the answer “We do not have that information”, however, if you are seeking to refi a current loan, your best bet is to work with the originating bank, if however that bank is no longer in business, this is the problem, most banks even if they are servicing your loan may not have your documents.
        Currently due to the overwhelming amount of refinancing today a majority of major banks are over loaded refinancing their current borrowers-Freddie and Fannie, taking on additional customers may swamp their refinance centers to incapacity.
        I am currently doing research to determine what steps Freddie Mac is taking to facilitate the loans that originated with institutions that are longer in business. This is the real problem, where does a borrower go when their bank longer exists and they would be the only facility able to refinance the borrowers loan.
        If you or anyone else are not current with your loan, then you no longer qualify for a HARP Modification loan, you then fall under the HAMP Mod, for the best results to facilitating your HAMP, is to begin your process through, http://www.hopenow.com .
        One crucial detail that borrowers are not doing is following through after completing initial contact with their bank or Hope Now, I am not saying that this is the case in your dilemma, however for quite a few borrowers who are stullified, they are not taking the much needed action today. PICK UP THE PHONE best thing that anyone can do.
        Lynn,
        If you are coming up against a brick wall because of no information, you may request that the Loan Officer, escalate your loan to a new level. Within Wells Fargo, there is a built in system to get answers for customers. I know many Site Leaders that are terrific in following up with customer issues and directing the customer to meet their needs.

    • Florida Homeowner says

      Wells Fargo does NOT want to take on refinancing of homes that are under-water in states like Florida, even though that is part of the “making Home Affordable Plan”. They will under-appraise your home, or simply refuse to continue, based on your home’s value in the local property appraiser’s site.

      The plan also simply will not help most under-water Florida homeowners, because even with a fair appraisal, it allows refinancing of up to only 105% of the “market value”. The people who ARE qualifiying would likely have qualified for regular refinancing, as you still need good credit scores, good income, etc.

      After April 4, 2009, you have the option of seeking out other lenders under the program.

      • Mr.Genius says

        FL HO, for HARP servicer does not need an appraisal report, just a auto valuation with a reliable confidence score. Also not sure where you got that info for the last sentence, but this is not true unless you want to do regular refi.

        Thanks!

        • Mike says

          I meet all the criteria outlined to qualify for the HARP. My loan is a Freddie Mac loan however Wells Fargo (the servicer) is telling me that my loan doesn’t qualify. The loan officer couldn’t tell me why it didn’t qualify for the HARP. He just said it could be because you didn’t originate your loan with Wells Fargo. I live in AZ so I wonder if that has something to do with it since it is a declining market. Can servicers pick and choose who they want to offer the HARP to?

          • Toni says

            No where on Freddie Mac’s Bulletin 2009-5 http://www.freddiemac.com/sell/guide/bulletins/pdf/bll095.pdf does it say that you must refinance with the original lender. It states that you must originate the new mortgage (the refinance) with you current servicer.

            You were incorrectly denied!! I know this personally because they said the same thing to me. I challenged them and have taken it to the Presidential offices of Wells Fargo and I am now refiancing my house via Home Affordable Refiance Program. It took a month from my initial email.

            You need to make a compliant with Freddie Mac 1-800-FREDDIE and call the Presidential offices 1-800-853-8516 and email Mary.Coffin@Wells.Fargo.com. Explain in detail why you quailfy and reference Freddie Mac’s Bulletin 2009-5 and Wells Fargo own news release https://www.wellsfargo.com/press/2009/20090304_Obama_HAMPSP

            I hope this helps.

            BTW During that month it took me to get the ball rolling on the ReFi I was advised that it’s system was updated in regards to “not being the original lender” eligibilty requirement. Who knows if this was said to please me but I was personally advised it was updated (around July 28th) which was based on my complaint and how could they deny what Freddie Mac’s Bulletin states?

            Please Note: For people that are trying to Modify you should read Freddie Mac’s Bulletin 2009-6 http://www.freddiemac.com/sell/guide/bulletins/pdf/bll096.pdf

  2. says

    This is by far the most thorough post on this subject I’ve read. I’ve talked to so many people who are confused by this process and are looking for more information.

    Absolutely fantastic job on summarizing and getting this information out. One of the most useful posts I’ve read all week!

    Baker @ ManVsDebts last blog post..33 Ways To Thwart Identity Theft!

  3. Phi says

    A few days ago, I did a refi with our existing lender (Countrywide). Our home is underwater but we always pay our bills. Therefore, we met all the qualifications and were looking to borrow 100% of the existing loan plus closing costs.

    Step 1 took a whole 20 minutes and was very easy. A short credit survey showed my wife and I scored around 800. Plus, NO APPRAISAL REQUIRED! Now we’re in the process of getting out of our ARM and into a 30-year fix at a rate of 4.875%. Our monthly payment will be reduced by $243/month and the breakeven point will only take a little over 3 years.

    Step 2, wait for the loan to be processed should be about two weeks). Step 3, the closing which is expected some time in June. Step 4, skip July’s payment. Step 5, begin the lower payments in August!

    • says

      That’s awesome Phi, it’s good to get out of that ARM, and into a fixed rate, especially when it’s so low like it is now.

      I’m working with a mortgage broker right now trying to find out if we’re able to refinance with another lender through this program, but the answer is a bit unclear at this point. Apparently the government isn’t being super helpful in giving the lenders clear information about what is happening.

      If we can’t go through another lender, we may end up doing a refinance through countrywide, depending on what they want to charge on closing costs. We shall see.

    • steve says

      I’m with Countrywide as well, in an ARM at 6.5%,backed by Fannie Mae, also with 800 credit, and have about 5% equity in my home, putting me square in the 80-105% LTV zone. I meet all the requirements of this plan, and I’m being told the best fixed rate I could get from Countrywide is 6.25%! They hem and haw and say ‘that’s the obama plan for ya’. Is anyone aware of rate add-ons specific to Countrywide or other companies, or have any thoughts as to why the rate would not be at todays <5% rate? Two different countrywide mortgage brokers told me the same thing, and they say they don’t understand it themselves.

      • Phi says

        I should’ve also said that my rate of 4.875% includes 1.875 points. But even at zero points, you should be around 5.25% to 5.625%. From what I’m being told, these are the govn’t rates that were given to Countrywide and that they don’t any say (though I take this with a grain of salt). Some of the other things to take into account are loan amount and the lock-in date. After talking to my neighbor, Pete, that’s the only thing that seems different. Again, 6.5% seems way too high. If it helps, the account representative that I spoke to seem pretty knowledgable (some of them at CW are aweful). His name is Jason at 800-960-0823 x3359; hope that helps some. Good luck!

  4. Sumit says

    I called Chase to find out if I can Refi under Obama’s plan. The mortgage consultant said it’s not possible as they(chase) purchased my loan from the secondary market. Note, my loan is owned by Fannie………Should i call again ?….If Chase denies, can i approach some other lender and see if they Refi under “Home affordable program” ?

    • says

      I would certainly try to call again, I think there’s a lot of confusion going around about what exactly the program entails, and a lot of lenders don’t even know for sure what’s going on. Calling again you may get someone on the phone who may know more about the program.

      I am personally looking into whether i can refinance with another lender right now as well, and have a mortgage broker looking into it for me. I’ll update here once I know more!

    • Lisa says

      I was told the same thing by Chase. Actually the person I spoke with told me they are only refinancing the loans that originated with them at this time. After May 1st they will start refinancing other loans. Mine loan was bought by them and of course I had no say in that. So it is a bit frustrating. Not sure why I have to wait when they are the one who purchased it.

      • Sumit says

        Lisa, since then i called some reps, and they wanted me to go ahead and submit the “borrower’s assistance form”. Once submitted they would decide if i qualify for “refi” or “loan modification”……I already sent in my paper work…….

        • Lisa says

          Well I called again and got ahold of a new person. But they told me that if your loan didn’t originate with Chase you now have to wait until the middle of June to be able to refinance. He was able to tell me what they value my home at and that basically once they get the go-ahead I would qualify. But when I asked if the June date was a Chase requirement or a Fannie May they couldn’t tell me.

        • james says

          Sumit/Lisa-

          Were you able to refi under HARP with Chase. I am being told same things for disqualification, that I cant refi under HARP because my mortgage was bought by other lender…Can you please let me know the mortgage contact that you worked with in CHASE that helped resolve your cases. Thanks much for any help

      • Nate says

        I was told the same thing by Chase. I called there 1-800 number and I also talked to a mortgage “specialist” at my local branch. They said I was ineligable since my loan was bought by Chase. They also use their own software tool to value your house which only uses data from Chase mortages so our hous was valued $20,000 less than simliar websites like Zillow.

    • Toni says

      With Fannie Mae you should be able to fefinance with any lender if you qualify for the Home Affordable Refinance Program.

      Freddie Mac properties need to be refinanced with its current servicer (mortgage company) through September 30th, then on October 1st, the refinance can be done by any lender.

    • lisa says

      Be very careful with Chase..The will prequalify you for mod/refi and let you make trial payments for a year or so and then send you wrong paperwork..and then no paperwork..then they will not let you make any type of payment until new paperwork arrives which takes about three months..(in the meantime another dept is foreclosing on your home) you will get papers one day before sell date with original rates and all the money that you thought you were saving added back into loan with inerest and surprise foreclosure feess…These banks run the country and I have just decided there is no winning against them..they dont want to work with us & they made this mess…so b careful bc they can decide to change the terms back!!! I did make reduced payments (they told me too) i was approved for refi/mod. in this period i paid off a lot of my bills b/c my mortgage was reduced..as soon as I paid off my car and last credit card they changed their mind…and put 30,000 back onto my loan. How can they change when they agreed to something? they watched my credti report and saw us using the money we were saving from reduced payments to pay off our bills and the minute they were paid they put me in foreclosure..i am scared to trust them again….still having a very hard time financially but dont trust these banks

      • Lisa says

        Correct, a loan modification doesn’t have to be a loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac but a loan refinance does. I think that is what a lot of people on here are trying to do, refinance and take advantage of the low interest rates.

  5. Imee says

    I think the qualification guidelines are pretty fair & reasonable, but still, not everyone who needs help with their foreclosure problem is gonna be able to get that help. People shouldn’t 100% rely on Making Home Affordable and have a backup plan at hand, because there’s still a chance they won’t qualify.

    Imees last blog post..Biden, Vilsack Announce Affordable Housing Grants Under Obama’s Housing Plan

  6. J-Dub says

    I’m in the process of a refi under the “making home affordable plan” through Wells Fargo. So far it’s been a breeze. I’m going to get out of my 10yr I/O loan @ 6.275 and into a 30yr fixed at 5.125. My break even point will be about 14 months. I’ll be paying close to $3500 in closing costs that includes a $340 appraisal and 15 credit check np points. I should hear back from the loan processor within the week he said I’m the first loan he’s processed but everyting looks good so far. The only confusing part to me is that Freddie Mac only allows $2500 in closing costs. So why do I have to pay $1000 out of pocket to meet the $3500? Shouldn’t they only be able to charge me $2500? They currenly own the loan so escrow should be an easy switch also. I’ll keep you all posted.

  7. Denine says

    Wells Fargo is my mortgage company. They don’t want to help me with the “Making Home Affordable” program. They new I was inquiring for help since 10/08. What they did was make it look like I was delinquent on my 11/08 payment, so they said I do not qualify for any kind of help. They are lying I have everything I need to prove I have never been late. They received my paymennt on 11/04/08 but didn’t post it until 12/10/08. The check went through my bank on 11/05/08. This is a terrible mortgage company!

  8. J-Dub says

    I’m a little worried about the appraisal but I was able to put 20% down on the original loan and get into the house with positive equity. But regardless I’ve definately got a target I’ve got to hit. My contact at Wells Fargo

    Jonathan.D.Englert@wellsfargo.com

    You might want to send him an email and see what he can do for you.

    • Miriam says

      I have tried to refinance with Wells Fargo. I have 20% in my property and their apparaisal is an entire scam. They used the lowest sale comparables in order to lower my property value. I am currently looking into presenting their scam to the local District Attorney. I bought my property last September and it was a foreclosure. I have negotiated with the bank and got the property $30,000 less than what was appraised at. WF used for the new appraisal the value I bought it at. They want me to put more money down in order to refinance.

      • Mr.Genius says

        Miriam, for HARP servicers do not need to order an appraisal report, instead they can rely on automated value. The auto value must be within a standard deviation range in order to be considered.

        If you disagree with value then you can always dispute. If you dispute then be prepared to submit 3 listing and submit 3 comps within 1 mile radius and that have closed within the past 3 months.

        Thanks!

  9. Live Small says

    I spoke to my lender, Countrywide, about the program today. They said that I could only refinance with them and the program only covered refinancing with your current lender. Does anyone have any more news on this? They gave me a good rate, 2.875 with half a point, but I’d rather shop around if possible. Also… waiting on that appraisal to come in… keeping fingers crossed.

    • says

      From what i understand if you have a freddie mac owned loan, you have to refinance with the same servicer/lender. Fannie Mae loans have different rules. I also have a countrywide loan, and am having to refinance with countrywide to get in on the program. My loan is a freddie mac owned loan.

  10. Alan says

    My wife has been trying to chase this down and has been getting very little positive response. Many lenders either don’t want to participate, or haven’t heard about it.

    Chase, who holds our mortgage, acts like we are inconveniencing them. Each person she spoke to gives her a different answer, one wants us to try a different loan plan or wants to throw in 1.5% extra points.

    From the emails, it sounds like Countrywide and Wells Fargo are possible lenders who might help.
    thanks.

    • Florida Homeowner says

      Wells Fargo will help, but it not much different than a regular re-fi, except they will refinance up 105%. There is a standard application, and they are being much more picky about income, bank account balances, job history, credit, etc., than before. We were quoted an interest rate of 5.25%, almost $5000 in closing costs, not counting insurance and taxes for escrow (another $5K), meaning our break-even point would not be for 20 months. In the meantime, our principal is increased by 10K, making it that much harder to sell the house if we had to.

  11. Karen says

    I recently began working for a Loan Modification Company in NJ. I have recent background in personal finance, mortgages, and counseling, so it was a perfect fit for me. I’ve been reading a LOT of negative press about companies such as mine, how they are scams, etc., etc. I’m beginning to believe that these rumors are being perpetuated by the banks (there are scam artists in every profession, look at mortgages). Here’s the truth: The stimulus program is voluntary for the banks. If you have perfect credit, and enough equity and income, your bank will be more than happy to refinance you. If you are “underwater,” low equity, low credit score or if you recently suffered a financial hardship, call a modification company that is attorney-based and get them to fight for you. Our clients are coming to us terrified of losing their homes because the bank either wouldn’t modify their loan, or dropped their payment or interest rate by some paltry amount that didn’t help at all. Once they sign an agreement with the bank, there is nothing more we can do. You DO NOT have to be behind on your mortgage to get the loan modified. You can try this on your own, but you will be very frustrated. See this CNN story for more on how the banks are “helping.” http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/living/2009/04/16/gutierrez.foreclose.phone.cnn

    • Karen says

      Dear Live Small,
      Countrywide is not telling you the truth. You can refinance with anyone, but sounds like they gave you a great rate. Here in NJ, I’ve never heard of a rate so low. Is that a 15-year? Nothing has changed about refinancing, except that the qualifications are tighter than ever before. To everyone on this board: THE BANK IS NOT YOUR FRIEND! They are looking out for their interest, not yours.

      • says

        From what I understand, however, if you want to take part in the “Making Home Affordable” program with a Freddie Mac backed loan (which many countrywide loans are), you’ll need to refinance with the same lender. Otherwise you’ll be subject to things like an appraisal, PMI, etc. Correct?

        • Florida Homeowner says

          Peter – yes, if you are Freddie Mac you need to stay with your original lender (Fannie Mae’s can go with other approved lenders after 4/4/09). Either way, if through the “Making Home Affordable” program, you should not need PMI if you did not have it before. But they still can require appraisals to keep it to 105% of appraised value, which eliminates almost everyone who bought a home in the last 5 years in states like Florida, California, etc., even if you put 20% down.

  12. renee says

    I am currently in default and in foreclosure. I have been trying to work with countrywide for months. My loan is still be reviewed. I dont qualify for the refi i guess so I am praying for the modification. I basically can make the payments now and and hoping they just let me put my arrears to the end of the loan and just let me move forward. If not then bk court here we come

  13. z says

    Home Owner Affordability and Stability Plan.
    Does the plan require the lender to add an additional 25% to the Gross Income of an independent contractor ?!?!
    After 6 months of trying to work with Countrywide for a Loan Modification, and being told (by a countrywide modification manager) they must have STRICT adherence to Mr. Obama’s plan, countrywide offered me a new payment that is not even $100.00 less than my current unaffordable payment.
    When I told them this was MUCH GREATER THAN 38% of my gross income they responded that because I am an independant contractor the plan demands they add an additional 25% to my income and then factor the 38% !!!!!! Is this correct ???
    Tell me this is an error or scam by Countrywide. I can find nothing that states this on the government or any other website … and believe me I’ve looked.
    Countrywide is asking me to pay a 1,600.00 a month mortgage.By my calculations 38% equates to about 1,200.00.

    • Karen says

      z, Countrywide is one of the most difficult banks to work with. They won’t even consider modification unless you have a rate of over 6.5 and/or are three months behind on your mortgage. Even so the modifications they are giving out are not enough to help most people. It’s upsetting to hear that so many people won’t get help and could possibly lose their homes. There is no one policing the program to make sure it is carried out correctly. The media keeps talking about loan modification scammers, but the biggest scammers are the banks themselves.

      • z says

        Thanks for your response.

        You hit the nail on the head “The biggest scammers are the banks themselves”.

        It IS crazy that the media has no coverage of this.All they say is “…contact your lender, blah blah blah …”

        I have sent emails to the white house liason, treasury department, cnn money matters and posted a blog on loansafe.org. I have phone calls in to Hope Now and Naca.

        We’ll see, thanks again and if anyone out there knows anything, please reply.

    • Mr.Genius says

      Z, servicers must gross up all tax exempt income by 1.25%. It appears you are self employed and there are several ways to calculate your gross income based on the documentation you submitted to Countrywide.

      Thanks!

  14. t2t says

    I currently have a 30-year fixed at 5.125%. I’ve contacted my lender on the MHA because I want to refi to a lower rate. Initially, I thought payments would be modified for 5 years so that no more than 31% of your income was applied towards the payment. Now, it appears that item is no longer considered.

    When my mortgage co. ran the “numbers”, they could only save me about $17.00 a month – primarily due to my low rate already. However, I feel frustrated because of that “31%” item that was in the initial information, but apparently not followed.

    Unfortunately, I live in a higher cost housing market where I’d love to reduce my loan payment a bit more.

    Win some, lose some.

  15. Chris says

    Hello. Thank you for the information about M.H.A. Very helpful. I’ve been looking into it myself and have gotten conflicting information. It sounds like there are very few experts on the subject just yet. Here are a couple of questions I have:

    - I heard that with a MHA refi. you wouldn’t need to carry PMI even if you were well below 20% equity. Is that true? I didn’t see it mentioned on this site, though I’ll admit I didn’t read every comment in detail.

    - I am one of those who did 2 mortgages at 80/20 to avoid PMI and everybody has told me that MHA will not allow you to refi. both together. Is that true? If so is it the program or just the banks or just some banks? If it’s true MHA really won’t help me much because my current rate on my 80% mortgage is not too bad and of course I already don’t have PMI. But I’ve also heard that there’s another “wave” happening in a few weeks that’s designed for people with PMI, which even though I don’t actually have PMI, I kind of fall into “in spirit”, if that makes sense, since I am financed in the neighborhood 90% . Does anyone know the particulars of that wave and whether it will allow the combination of 2 mortgages without picking up PMI?

    Thanks again for your help,
    Chris

    • says

      If you currently have PMI, you will have to have it on the MHA refinance. If you don’t currently have it, you shouldn’t have to add it.

      On your second question, about having a first and second mortgage, this is what the government has to say:

      As long as the amount due on the first mortgage is less than 105% of the value of the property, borrowers with more than one mortgage may be eligible for a Home Affordable Refinance. Your eligibility will depend, in part, on agreement by the lender that has your second mortgage remain in a second position, and on your ability to meet the new payment terms on the first mortgage.

      Beyond that you may need to do some further research by contacting a HUD-approved housing counselor by calling 1-888-995-HOPE (4673).

      More details about modification for second mortgages have now been released. Second Mortgage Modification

      • Dale says

        My wife and I in New Jersey are in the same position as Chris,we split our mortgage to avoid the PMI and now THAT is costing us the abilty to refi through MHA. The lender on the second mortgage is being difficult because THEY look at the CLTV which is about 100% for us. So the answer is YES,we can refi the first mortgage (200k) through the MHA program,but the lender on the second loan(30k) wont subordinate because of the CLTV!The thing that bothers me is that the second mortgage was purchase money to begin with,not a home equity loan! Im afraid our opportunity to lock in historically low rates are passing us right by.
        Right now, our rates are 6.25 and 8.00. Anyone have advice besides the Loan Mod?We are current on our payments and good scores.

  16. Michelle says

    Our current mortgage is through Wells Fargo and we meet ALL the requirements- we are not delinquent, it is our primary residence, it is backed by Freddie Mac, our LTV is below 105%, our 2nd is willing to subordinate, our debt to income is below 50%, and the list goes on….. but they have denied our loan application. They have said that we don’t qualify because they did not originate our loan. After all the research I have done on this program NOTHING says they can’t refinance under this program because they did not originate the loan, in fact having a Freddie Mac backed loan and I am limited to only my current lender for this refinance. Any ideas on how I can get through to them? This is very frustrating!

    • Mr.Genius says

      Michelle, as long as Wells Fargo is the servicer of your Freddie mortgage, you should be considered for HARP. I would continue to call Wells Fargo every week as Servicers are just beginning to implement and train their staff on the new underwriting guidelines.

      Thanks!

      • Michelle says

        So each time I have called Wells Fargo they give me a different answer as to why we do not qualify. This last time was because there system has a box on our current mortgage and if that is checked that we don’t qualify for the HARP then the buck stops there. I can’t get anyone to help me with this. So because there system has a boxed checked that says we don’t qualify there is nothing they will do for us EVEN THOUGH we meet all the other requirements. ANY THING we can do? This is absolutely frustrating!!!

        • roberto says

          Same for me. I get a different story every time I call Wells Fargo (4 times now). First two times, they verified that I was eligble and put on a waiting list. They never contaced me. I started buggin them 2 months later and now they say I am not eligible because my current mortgage has PMI. I contacted the folks at the government Home Affordability and Stability web site and they say they have no knowledge of such a requirement.

          I am beginning to think this HARP stuff is all a scam. Has anyone actually got one of these refis?

  17. mneni says

    wells fargo own my loan with 86% loan on my house when i purchansed. So, pay PMI every month..

    I contacted wells fargo last week, and they said. I am not eligible for home affordable refinance because I am paying PMI on my existing loan..

    Who this program is supposed ot help, un fortunate buyers that are suffering to pay the banks or the banks..the person on the phone told me, it is not eligible even though it is fannie mae backed, because there is no risk to the bank with my existing loan..

    • Trae says

      I am also with Wells Fargo and got the same answer. I am not paying the PMI, mine is lender paid PMI, but because of this, Wells Fargo is telling me I don’t qualify for the affordable refinance. There is nothing on the government’s website regarding loans with PMI not qualifying. After talking to about 4 people at Wells Fargo, someone finally told me Wells Fargo is denying the loans with PMI due to system limitations. The system limitations are not our fault. Why should we suffer because they don’t have the systems in place to handle a refinance with PMI. I was also told they are still trying to figure out how to handle the people paying PMI. In the meantime, my house value continues to drop and am afraid by the time they figure out how to handle these loans, I will be outside of the eligible 105% range.

      • mneni says

        I will try to reach them out again this week. Hopefully, we will hear a different answer from them soon. But if anyone hear anything sooner, please update the thread.

        BTW, Can we reach out to another firm for refinance or do we have to stick with Wells for this refinannce program?

    • Mr.Genius says

      mneni and Trae, as your loans retain PMI then you should be considered for the the program. Obviously the PMI company must approve. I would ask Wells Fargo to provide the Cert# and phone# for PMI company and contact them directly, to get the approval process started.

      Thanks!

  18. Hank says

    First, this is one of the most helpful articles on refinancing and loan modification I have read so far, thank you.

    I am trying to get a loan modification with Wells Fargo on my parent’s loan: 6.5% fixed for 10 years. I have heard that with a loan modification you have to basically prove that you can not make payments. They own 2 very delapitated homes outright, 1 of which is rented out with some rental income, the other is sitting vacant b/c of its condition. They can prob. sell the vacant one for about $150K, the other they need for income. Both are retired with limited income and are truthfully in need of some help. My Q: just by virtue of the fact that they own these 2 homes, will it automatically disqualify them for a loan modification? Or is this just one factor? Thanks for any help.

    • Mr.Genius says

      Hank, if your question whether your parents can modify both investment properties under HAMP, then the answer is “no” for several reasons.

      First reason, the properties must be owner occupied to be eligible. Second reason, properties may not be vacant/condemned to be eligible.

      Thanks!

  19. cmesharpe says

    There are 2 questions I have about this program that I cannot get information one. Can someone help??

    (1) To qualify, do you have to have a certain FICO score? Our bank said we needed a 720. Unfortunately, my husband is just below that at 680.

    (2) If I refinance my adjustable rate mortgage under the “making home affordable” plan, will it have an immediate or long-term impact on our credit scores?

    Thank you!!

    • says

      I think different lenders may have different FICO score requirements, so you’ll need to check with your servicer. For example, i found one that had this requirement:

      Credit Scores: A minimum FICO score of 580 will be required for loans with greater than 80% loan-to-value ratio. A minimum FICO score of 680 will be required for all high balance adjustable rate mortgages with greater than 80% LTV. A couple of points:

      This is different from Freddie Mac-backed loans where a minimum credit score will not be applicable.

      This requirement will expire after the first week of May.

      I don’t think a refinance under this program should have a negative impact on your credit score.

  20. Darren says

    I am going through a refi of my home that is with Fannie Mae – however it appears the services has met an impass with PMI. The PMI company will not transfer the PMI to the new refid loan unless I have a 720 credit score or better? While I qualify for all us and Fannie will do it – the PMI is the problem. How many of us have a 720 these days!? I’m hoping someone might have some information that might help with this process…looking for something my servicer can send to the PMI company…reach a bit here I appreciate.

    Thanks,
    Darren

    • Mr.Genius says

      Darren, in order to be eligible for HARP, the loan must retain PMI. I would obtain PMI Cert# and phone# from your servicer and call them to see what is holding them up from issuing an approval to proceed.

      Thanks!

  21. Richard says

    Just wondering why my posts were removed….such as this one…

    RE: 80/20 interest only loans

    My first loan is with Countrywide for 163K, my second loan is with Citi Mortgage for 40K. This is an 80/20 loan package from 2006. The FIRST mortgage (Countrywide) is interest only and is backed by Fannie Mae.

    The way Countrywide’s HARP reps are treating callers is as if it is no different than the normal refinance application. Everything that I thought I read or understood about the program was inaccurate in their view. They talked of out of pocket closing costs which I read more than once in the guidelines that minimal closing costs could be rolled into the loan. They talked of (and checked) my credit score. The first rep said they valued my property at 179K, the second and third said it was 162K. How they conclude that I have no idea but their software is surely pulling the value as low as possible. They mentioned points and an interest rate that was near 7%.

    The only way the program can make sense and be beneficial with 2 mortgages is if it is as it reads. The new loan is an improvement on the first (larger) loan that is backed by fannie or freddie and calculations are only on that LTV being 105% or less. We know that the best thing would be to combine both loans into more favorable terms and that that is not going to happen. The second loan is unchanged and must agree to subordinate with it’s terms unchanged.

    After getting nowhere with 3 HARP “specialists they transfered me to a modification specialist who also seemed predetermined to disagree with everything I had read. In the end I asked…so what should I do, not pay for 3 months and call you back? She said yes, at that time we could try and help :)

    My basic unresolved question is really simple. I shouldn’t need to ask Obama directly on this one small but important technicality…is the second mortgage included in the LTV or not? The program makes no sense if it is and the program helps a lot of people if it is not:)

    I called my credit union when I saw that they were gearing up to particiapte in the new programs. They said they would only help people that had mortgages with them and only the ones that they had “sold” to Fannie Mae. I mentioned that after April 4th any approved lender could do a HARP re-fi and asked if they didn’t want the extra business? They didn’t seem to care and again said we only will do loans originated here.

    I would expect approved banks to want the new business even at low rates. They should be welcoming us and on top of the situation enough to guide us through step by step. But, for now I have nowhere to go except Countrywide. All in all, this whole program has created a big mess so far…..

    • Mr.Genius says

      Rich, your 2nd mtg is not included in the LTV ratio calculation. The 2nd mtg is included in either the total “TLTV” or HELOC “HTLTV.”

      Since your 1st mtg is being serviced by Countrywide for Fannie/Freddie, you must apply for the HARP through Countrywide.

      Thanks!

  22. Ed says

    My current mortgage company is GMAC. They so suck. All I initially wanted was to use the Obama Housing plan to lower my house payment because I’m at 90% LTV. First they put me through a grueling Mortgage modification process, which I didn’t want. After being declined for that, I was then told that I wouldn’t qualify for the part of the plan that does refinances with 80-105% LTV because I already have PMI, and that the guideline state if you already have PMI that you are automatically ineligible. What kind of crock of crap is that?” I requested a copy of the guidelines that state that and they refused to provide a copy to prove what they where saying…I smell a rat.

  23. Jeremy says

    I really need some help. I’ve went through the rigamarole with countrywide throughout. They keep putting me off putting me off…Now after all of this they are saying the only thing that keeps me from being eligible is the fact that I have PMI. However I read this is being lifted. What is the truth here? I can’t find anything..

    They keep saying I need to be in default or miss a mortgage payment to qualify for anything.

    • Richard says

      I have the same issue with BOA. We meet all the requirements, but also have PMI and have been told that the PMI borrowers would be serviced in the next round of customers. This is extremely frustrating and is there a way to get more information in order to fix this silly rule?

      • Jeremy says

        hi Richard.

        I finally figured out what they were doing to me and this could be the same for you.

        They were trying to refinance my loan and not modify it. The refiance is currently the program that PMI SUPPOSEDLY holds you back. After talking with the “home retention team” You can qualify for a modification. The modification will bring your mortgage payment down to 31% of your gross income. What is strange is BOA/countrywide told me I qualified and then seemed to purposely route me to the wrong department so they could talk refinance. Must be their way of dissuading people out of the modification. I’ve been at this with them since February. Here we are and now I have to circle BACK. I just hope they don’t pull any more shennanigans on me. Good luck to you.

        • Richard says

          You know, Jeremy, you are probably correct; because the loan officer from the branch called me a few days ago to say that we could wait until the PMI problem is solved or we could refinance if we came up with more downpayment.

          You might want to call 1-866-377-2941. It is the BOA help desk and I called this morning to talk about PMI; they did not answer the question directly but seemed to be ready to accomodate me with other programs.

    • sue says

      going through bank of america and having the same issues. They told me to stop making payments for 3 months. Just told me yesterday I do not qualify because i have an FHA loan. My payments during this time have acutally increased so I have been having troulbe paying other bills. I have written everyone to no avail. Am going to meet someone from housing authority but am afraid becasue my credit score has decreased due to the increase in my mortgage. I swear the banks are just getting the kickbacks and not servicing its customers.

  24. rupesh says

    Hi,
    Anyone have any luck with a Wells Fargo loan with PMI? They keep on telling me to call back after a month to see if they are taking loans with existing PMI
    Thanks

    • Richard says

      Yes, Rupesh,

      See my posting above. This PMI problem has not gone away. Bank of America says that it might be a month to fix it. I think that it is a serious misleading issue for borrowers!

  25. Maria says

    I had a life change in income and can not afford my mortgage payments. I meet all the criteria for a loan modification. Would I still qualify if I have too much equity in the home? And yes this is my primary address. Any info is greatly appreciated!

    • Lisa Anne says

      Hi, Maria- I can tell you right now that they answser is “NO”. We are facing the exact same situation. By the most conservative of estimates, we’re at about 79%LTV, and they are telling us that the 79% issue ALONE disqualifies us for the Loan Mod. Bottom line is that from the bank’s perspective, you could theoretically sell your house and get out from under the loan.

  26. mam says

    My investor is flagstar. I am 7 months behind on my mtg. Looking at all the requirements of mha mod, I do qualify. I was told that in order to qualify for that program I have to come up with 7k to be eligible. I did a homesavers with flagstar last year, I was told that is the reason why I dont qualify, and my investor is Fannie Mae.Does this make any sense?

  27. heather says

    I too am with Wells Fargo, 3 weeks ago I called about refinancing my loan and thier rep told me about the HARP program and that we would qualify but to call back in two weeks. I waited the two weeks and called back and have talked to three diffrent people that now say we dont qualify because we have lender paid PMI. I have read on HARP sites that you must have PMI to qualify. I am so confused!! Our loan is Fannie Mae backed and our credit is fine. I am just looking to lower my interest rate. The rep I talked to three weeks ago did the figures and said refinancing with the HARP program would save us about 300.00 a month. If anyone has any info on this PMI issue to date, it would be so helpful. I don’t know where to turn now.

  28. Mr. Genius says

    Heather, call WF and ask for the PMI company name, cert#, and phone#. Then contact the PMI company and ask what their guideline is for HARP. Please let us know what they say. Thanks!

  29. ArtZGurl says

    We are getting the same run-around from BofA/CountryWide since the home affordability (refi) program began in April – “the program isn’t yet set up to handle PMI – the government is negotiating with the mortgage insurers…call back/we’ll call you next month on the date they have rescheduled the roll-out of ‘Phase 2′ – we’re waiting on the Feds…” – we now have a new appointment for July.

    Frankly, it’s frustrating. We’ve been talking to them since January.

    • Now1244 says

      I have been having the same problem with BOFA/Countrywide. I called them yesterday to see if “Phase 2″ started and was told the same thing, that my name is on the list and I will get a call next month. I have been calling them every month since March. This is very frustrating.

      Has anyone heard of when this “Phase 2″ with PMI eligibility will begin?

      • WEWERYGA says

        SAME PROBLEM WITH PMI HERE… I’D BEEN CALLING BOA/COUNTRYWIDE FOR THE PAST MONTH ABOUT THE “PHASE 2″ AT FIRST THEY TOLD THAT GONNA COME OUT ON 6/12 THEN, LATER WHEN I CALL AGAIN ON 6/12/09 THEYTOLD ME THAT IT’S BEEN PUSH BACK TO NEXT MONTH. BUT, THEY DON’T KNOW THE EXACT DATE AS OF YET BECAUSE THEY ARE STILL NEGOCIATING WITH PMI COMPANY HOW THE THING GONNA WORKS RIGHT NOW.
        AND MY NAME IS ALSO ON THEIR LIST TOO AND WILL CALL ME ONCE THE “PHASE 2″ OUT. THIS IS KIND OF FRUSTRATING …. DOES ANYONE KNOW OR THAT WORK FOR BOA/COUNTRYWIDE LOAN DEPT. KNOW THE EXACT DATE FOR THE “PHASE 2″ TO BEGIN ?

        • Kristin says

          This list keeps growing!!
          I am having the same experience with Bank of America who now has my loan through thier merger with CountryWide. I spoke with them as late as early September… I qualify under Phase II (home to loan ratio no greater than 125%), but the PMI is what is dis-qualifying me!!!
          I have spoken to B of A on multiple occasions who have told me that I qualify for the re-finance in every way, except that my lender paid PMI Insurance dis-qualifies me from the program. I have been told that B of A has not recived any guidelines from the government re: lender-paid PMI.

          They mentioned that my only other option is touse the standard re-finance process, but since my home is so undervalued, I would have to put down $40K to do so. Of course, my whole purpose of using the “Make Home Affordable” program is because I don’t have that kind of money in savings right now due to my financial hardship.

          Does anyone know if I have any other alternatives? I REALLY cannot afford to continue paying the 7% interest right now and would like to take advantage of the low interest rates in the market.
          Thanks in advance!!
          - Kristin

          • misty says

            This is exactly what is happening to us… they leave you no options. He told us just to wait. We dont know what to do.
            Any help would be great!!

            Misty

  30. Anshoo says

    Hi There,

    This article has been very very helpful, thanks to everyone sharing their side of inputs.

    I started my refin with DNJ about 8 weeks back (Apr End 09) as they introduced me to Fannie Mae and 105% loan approval without PMI, I do not have PMI at present my rate is very high 6.4.

    Towards the fague end of process, just a day prior closing they said I can not be approved because I have PMI, I even showed them that I never paid PMI and BOA (my current lender ) faxed the same even stated that neither borrower or lender paid any PMI, still they say I do not qualify as it is lender paid PMI.

    I was charged 500$ for appraisal and about to expire my lock. DNJ stopped responding on phone and either email .. I find this highly un-ethical they should speak and suggest the next steps.

    What can I do in this situation ?

    [ I would like to warn other to be cautious of this fact and rather have first under-writer approval on all other documents prior ordering appraisal ]

  31. andrea says

    do you quailify for the making home affordable program if you file bankruptcy during the qualification period for the program, or after you have already been modified? I need to file bankruptcy for my other debt. Can i do that and still have this program?

  32. silvagroup says

    We too have tried to get help from Wells Fargo, what a farce !!! Their option was to lower our payments to half for 6 months then after the six months we have a balloon of $6000 for the interest and payments we would have missed in those 6 months, so in the long run what would happen if we were to accept this is that instead of getting help we get slapped with $2000 dollars more than if we could just continue our current payment., which we can’t.
    We have 50% equity in our home, excellent scores, and have never missed a payment. We are both unemployed currently and are trying to just keep our home. I think it’s easy enough to see that these banks have no interest in helping anyone and they know they have you by the throat, and either way they still make money on you.
    I think Karen may have a good solution. I am going to try it and see.

    • Lisa Anne says

      Hi, Silva- We are in the same boat as you are. However, with the 50% equity, you are dead in the water as far as the Home Affordability mod goes. They disqualified us at 20% equity! My husband was laid off at the end of April and we were trying to reduce our payment proactively (we also have never been late on a payment) They also offered us the silly half payments/then balloon payment option. You’ld have to be nuts to sign up for that one. I don’t get the impression that they actually want to “help” anyone…btw, we’re with CitiMortgage.

  33. Dale says

    My wife and I in New Jersey are in the same position as many here,we split our mortgage to avoid the PMI and now THAT is costing us the abilty to refi through MHA. The lender on the second mortgage is being difficult because THEY look at the “Combined Loan To Value”which is about 100% for us three years after we bought the house. So the answer is YES,we can refi the first mortgage (200k) through the MHA program,but the lender on the second loan(30k) wont subordinate because of the CLTV!The thing that bothers me is that the second mortgage was purchase money to begin with,NOT a home equity loan! Im afraid our opportunity to lock in super low rates are passing us right by.
    Right now, our rates are 6.25 and 8.00. Anyone have advice besides the Loan Mod?We are current on our payments and good scores but paying down additional principle to reach the correct LTV is not really possible.We are on a shoe string budget because of our two young children,my wife being a stay at home Mom,and cutbacks at my work.

  34. silvagroup says

    UPDATE: After spending a considerable amount of time on the phone with Wells Fargo they are not willing give us the Making Home Affordable option at all. All they are willing to do is give us the loan reduction for six months and that’s it, and again that is far from any help with a balloon of almost $6000 at the end of six months. Of course with us having 50% equity it would be of great benefit to them for us to have to give back the house, so they have no incentive to help at all.
    Is there some kind of real help number for the Fed with so people can really get help, the banks aren’t there to help, they just want to continue to rape and pillage.

    • Lisa Anne says

      Hi, Silva- See above…the banks don’t care about the borrowers, they are just looking to protect their “investment”. Therefore, if you can sell and they can get their two bucks out of it, that’s all they care about it. They are not in the least bit interested (nor do they care) that you will be forced to sell and be out of your home. We are in the same boat as you, so I can totally feel your pain…

  35. nancy says

    I have been calling countrywide/bof a for at least two months, since April 17th. Faxed all the appropriate paperwork in and every time I call I get a different answer why I do not qualify. Now I am being told that because my loan is not government backed, I do not qualify for the loan modification program. I am being told that as of last week, the loan modification program will effect not only delinquent homeowners, but now will effect current homeowners. The only thing I could do would be a refi. This is a regular refi, not the one offered by Making Home Affordable Program. A refi would not effect my credit score. They could suspend my payments for a few months, but then I would have to catch up to what it was, and that action would effect my credit score, and the catch up payments would be much larger. Again, please advise, I think I am being told the opposite. Shouldn’t it be that a loan modification does not have to be backed by Freddie or Fannie, and a refi under the Obama plan does?

  36. Melissa says

    Hi All,
    I have Wells Fargo and faxed all my paperwork at the end of April for a modification… my house dropped in value like everyone elses and I now have between 85-95% LTV so I qualify on that part. We had a baby and the daycare costs are so high that it is making us not be able to afford the mortgage. We have been paying ontime but are under by about $300 a month in our income/expenses. Anyway… here it is 2 months later and I just called Well Fargo and was told that they’re trying to get me into a plan. I told them weeks ago they were trying to fit me for the HAMP plan and they said that “failed” twice already but they keep trying. Does anyone know what this means? I told the girl, this is obviously a bad sign that I won’t qualify and she says no but I’m very discouraged. Has anyone gone through this and qualified in the end? if so, did you have to do anything different once it failed the first few times?
    Thanks
    Melissa

  37. Cheryl says

    I was approved by Flagstar for the making home affordable, the refi was costing 8,000.00 and when the rates went up they said they could not do the interest rate they stated on the loan docs unless I paid another 3 points? This is rediculous! This is exactly how homeowners put themselves upside down on their mortgages. I was told by Countrywide today, that the only lender that can DO a Fannie Mae Home Affordable is the lender you currently have the mortgage with? I read the website and my understanding is that this only applies ot modifications not refinancing. As long as it is a Fannie Mae to Fannie Mae loan any lender can refi under that program. If this is not the case, would some one let me know exactly how this works. I also put in a modification to my current lender back on April 1, 2009 and they are saying 90 more days??

  38. john says

    my famly have a low income. just under 1900 a month combined. they have to pay 1009 now a month. they have been late 2 payments, and owe some esscrow. do they qualify? i mean if they could they woudl easily able to afford. my dad has had medicine he needed. electricity went up, the city added a new secrity tax for the neighborhood, and they needed to buy a new car(used) last november, car will be paid off in january.

    do they qualify for the making home affordable???

  39. john says

    i forgot to mention the loan curently owed is under 70,000 interest is at 6.25 percent. they did incure some credit card debt, but if its possible for them to qualify they would easily be able to get rid of that within the next 24 months. (that was mostly due to hurricane katrina, even though they refinanced in 2008 or 7 ).

    the loan payments alone are over 50% of the monthly income .

    they didnt start having problems until november 2008.

  40. Teresita Verdaguer says

    On March 23rd, 2009 I sent in my loan modification package to Chase/Wamu, I received a letter from then on April requesting additional information to which I promptly complied. During the month of May I kept calling to make sure that all the required documentation was in order and they kept telling me that everything was okay and that my file had been forwarded to a loan modification officer and that I should be receiving a call from them in 4 to 6 weeks. On June 9th, 2009 I received a letter from Chase/Wamu saying that they had closed my file due to missing items. I called them and was told that my whole file had been put through the shredder and that I would have to download and fill out a brand new application and resubmit it to their offices with all of the documentation, they never gave me an explanation as to why my file was closed other than to say “missing items” – As of this date we do not know what the missing items are. No letter was sent asking for the additional missing items, no telephone call or e mail was received. I contacted Chase/Wamy and a “care manager” apologized for the inconvenience and that was the end of the story.
    If I had known this I would have acquired the services of an attorney or a company which specializes in loan modifications. At the present time we are facing a very difficult financial and health situation and almost all of our income is going to the mortgage payment. Yesterday I faxed my new application in with all the necessary documentation – let’s keep our fingers crossed.
    I hope and pray that it goes better for other people trying to modify their loans. To us, it’s been a very frustrating experience.
    The Verdaguer Family

  41. Wendy says

    I have read the comments here and find them very helpful. I am TOTALLY lost as to how to proceed w/the MHA app. I have 1st serviced by IndyMac and 2nd by Citi. Gave up on Citi in April when the lines were busy, but they miraculously reduced my interest by about 4 points until January 2010 (and no one there knows why!!!). I have called Indy repeatedly, and finally the other day a refi rep told me that a) the investor for my 1st loan is Deutsch Bank (!!!) and b) that they do not have the refi under the MHA yet.

    Both loans were Fannie Mae conforming. How in the world did at least one of them end up w/a German investor that I never knew got it? Thus, by the MHA guidelines I would not be eligible. To make matters worse about 75% of my income is from self-employment. If they use the “net” se income that really reduces the ratio for monthly debt/credit.

    My LTV has changed and my income has as well. I find these servicers are not up to date on things, and w/Indy Mac they have not even had a number you can call b/c they said the program was being managed in a “closed room.” I think this may have changed, as I just downloaded the packet and now see a Help line. But to be honest, with working 3 jobs I am tired of all the legwork involved. But, my first is at 7.25% and the 2nd is 9.375% (mysteriously upped at closing along w/a “balloon” loan…) so it would be good to get some help.

    I wanted to write this b/c no one has seemed to mention dealing w/Indy Mac or Citi…

  42. josh says

    good luck to everyone, i had no luck after three months of calling and giving financial info i was denied by metlife homeloans they said i didnt make enough to qualify for the program after making to much before if anyone can provide any help it would be greatly appriciated

  43. Diane says

    Put in all my paperwork to Chase back in March, called 30 days later and was told they could not find my papers ( I sent them certified mail and they were signed for), this was all after I had faxed the papers in where they told me to, so I have now sent them 3x. I have called and called and was given the same phone numbers back and forth after being told I had the wrong dept I need to call such and such which I had just done, very frustrating. The last time I spoke to anyone was early June and was told it could take 90 days and I have yet to hear anythng from anyone since I began the process on March 30th 2009.I have never missed a payment ever but I am so strapped and since thay dont seem to care why shold I.

  44. desperado says

    After waiting 3 months to hear something, we were denied for assistance because we are not 90 days delinquent. WOW, that sure is a long time to wait to have someone tell us we aren’t 90 days late on our mortgage. We wasted so much time and energy on this process it makes me sick to my stomache. I thought the whole point of this program was to help people in imminent danger of losing their home. I didn’t know you needed to be in foreclosure and losing your home before you could apply. This making home affordable program sure doesn’t seem to be working? But then again why would it if the banks are in control. After being denied by the bank we immediately received letters indicating possible solutiions would be to “short sale” or hand over the deed to our house in some other type of program. Wow, Wells Fargo, that seems swell…. instead of helping us stay in our home why don’t you just offer to kick us out faster!

    Wells Fargo SUCKS but then again Bank of America sucks worse. Wells Fargo is apparently our servicer but Bank of America is our actual lender. As far as we are concerned neither company is doing what they signed up for, no one is helping the American people. Wells Fargo and Bank of America are just a bunch of greedy jerks!

  45. judy says

    I was just denied my loan mod.since starting it March 09. They told me to sell my house and get something more affordable. My reply, this is the whole reason I applied to save my house so I could live in it. I have equity in the home and have lived within my means(poorly)
    and now don’t have the income to make the payments. I have lost two jobs and my daughter lives at home as a dependent. Was a bill pased in June that states you won’t be elligble if you can’t pay month mortg, want to stay in home, but have equity in it.Pls advise. Thnx
    any input

  46. Dan says

    Peter,
    My loan is owned by Fannie Mae. I have lender paid mortgage insurance (LPMI). They told me I CANNOT refinance with them under HARP. Is that true? Thanks, and I look forward to your response.

    Sincerely,
    Dan Maldonado

    • Dave says

      Dan,

      Same answer I got from bank of america, my loan is with them they told PMI was initially paid during closing hence I can’t qualify for this program.Now my home value dropping day by day if want to refinance my loan only option available is FHA loan which requires a reappraisal, processing etc.

      -Dave

    • Gayle says

      Did BofA disclose at closing that LPMI was being put on your loan? According to the Homeowners Protection Act you must be notified in writing.

  47. William says

    I first began the MHA process in April 09 after a real slow Winter for my business and when my available work seemed to disappear one client at a time. I started using my credit card to “fill in the gaps” every month until things picked up again. That bill got pretty big so now I’m doing things like hamburger helper instead of steaks, changed to a cheaper phone plan, dropped my cell service, ect… US Bank enrolled me in this MHA modification thing after I called them and asked if I could miss a couple payments or pay half of whats due for a couple Months in order to get my head above water again and then pick it back up again.

    From what I can tell, based off all the info on the government websites, I qualified. I was even told by US Bank that I did “pre” qualify. What struck me as odd is that the ONLY info I was asked to send in was to answer questions on their website (they have their customers fill in these online forms stating monthly income, expenses, information like that…) Well, The end of July, I was sent a letter stating I don’t qualify for a modification and call this 800 number at US Bank and we can help you with a pre foreclosure sale or a deed in lieu but make sure you keep paying your mortgage in the meantime! I called the MHA people the next business day and asked why I didn’t qualify and the person looked on her computer screen and couldn’t answer me. That person on the phone entered me in the program again, she asked me the same questions that were on their website questionaire and said that I will receive a letter in 45 days.

    Everything appears to be a joke to me at this point. Its my opinion that US Bank is just sitting there waiting out all these applications like most of us are waiting out this bad economy. What angers me is why not just have a system…. a person either qualifies……….or doesn’t. Like anything else, I should just trust myself to move on and find another way, I will. I have read all the other comments posted earlier and I know that there is a family situation, a story behind and in each post as its written. I hope you all are able to be helped. Hope and Change? Words

  48. Celina says

    Well my loan is with chase in California. I have a second on it as well.
    They just told me that they aprpoved on the first and denied on the second due to house ratio. Five months ago I was given the opportunity. To make trial payments on both once I re-submitted my updated paystubs they said I made too much. Although I explained that it was overtime hours. U will be in the same boat if the second I’d not modified. They suggested to contact the work out department but I don’t trust them anymore. Any suggestions. Please help..

  49. Michael says

    We were told we could refinance and everything was okay and then we were told that no we did not qualify because we have lender paid pmi. Well the more i read on this the more i see that you cannot get this program if you have pmi on your current loan, however if you owe between 80-105% on your current loan as you need to qualify then how can you not have pmi?? It seems that they contradict each other and it is impossible to get. Something needs to be done!!

  50. Linda says

    I have a question,,,I heard that if your mortgage has been sold, which mine has 3 times since I got it,,,that if the current company doesn’t have your original loan papers then you can sue them and get your house for free? Because you really don’t have an agreement with them!??? Is this true? Like mine is thru Citi now but my original loan was with Bank One.

  51. Linda says

    And I have another comment,,,we have been approved for a home affordable mod,,even though we DO have PMI,,,our mortgage is with Citi,,and we were never told anything about not getting it becuz of pmi,,,if your lender won’t give it to you just keep on them about it,,that’s what i did,,i kept telling them we wanted to keep our house but we couldn’t afford the payment and FINALLY they are helping us,,,the main thing is,,answer every phone call, dont’ avoid them and stand your ground with what you want,,,they dont’ need anymore foreclosures,,they will eventually help you.

  52. CS says

    It would be really great if someone could bring to light the truth about
    the Making Home Affordable Programs !!!!

    Making Home Affordable is one of the biggest government run scams ever foisted on the American People.

    Making Home Affordable is the proverbial throwing the bone to the dogs.
    There’s no meat on it. It is simply put there to distract and keep
    people busy and quiet while they chew on the bone and chase their tail.
    Since it has no meat the people will still loose their homes with this farce of a program.

    I am speaking from experience we have and still are going round the mill with this one. Actually, we are chasing our tails.

    After 6 months we have had three denials from Wells Fargo even though we totally qualify according to the program as written. We have 50% equity in our home and current on payments. Of course Wells Fargo says we don’t qulify, they won’t explain why we don’t, they just say we don’t. Again reading the program the banks call the shots in the long run, from what I can read they are the over site for the program!

    The lobbyist keep growing for the lenders even though if I recall our
    elected President was going to clean that up, and he was not going
    employ any of them in his term. Interesting how all the ones in charge
    of all these matters come directly from the financial institutions that
    have been bailed out (maybe he lied?).

    Some blogs and sites suggest getting a lawyer. Why do I need a lawyer to get what is suppose to be mine from my government!
    Personally that money is extremely hard to come by. Our next tail
    chasing session will be trying HUD/FHA. I expect that will be exactly
    like the experience with Wells Fargo since it seems very apparent that this is all set up to benefit the banks, not us anyway.

    In the long run I expect we will loose our home, empty out our IRA’s in
    the process, our savings are already gone, and Wells Fargo will be happy as pie that they get to make even more money from our home, which we have been so faithful in paying every month. Of course we have kept it in very nice shape for them also. Wells Fargo can then resell it and they can make even more money on it. Who cares that our family is out of home, savings, retirement and well being.
    And wow, what a deal I get to pay for that too.

    Oh yeah, we contacted our elected officials their reply, contact your
    lender and work with them. They were so helpful!

    And so here we stand still chewing on the bone.

    Someone telling the truth on this would be great for the American people who are getting caught up in this huge lie foisted upon them by the Obama administration offering the American people hope and help but in reality it’s just a bone.

    • Debbie Seals says

      Banks need oversight badly. They apparently want to be the new real estate agents. They have no intentions of helping anyone and just want their bonuses. i have watched my fiance try to refinance 5 times since April 2009 and every college educated idiot we work with has a different sent of FHA guidelines. FHA needs to get these bloodsuckers in check!

    • Debbie Seals says

      Yes, my fiance qualifies as well and National City said “no you don’t qualify”. These banks are crap and they have no idea what they are doing. They all want college educated idiots that have no real life experience to work for them but they better hang on the their degrees to wipe their asses when they don’ have jobs. I can only hope that each and everyone of them experience at least half of what honest, hardworking people are going thru to keep roofs over their heads. There mommies and daddies would be so proud of them.

    • gary smith says

      CS,
      I agree with you completely. I did contact a lawyer, a very respected one and his words were this is pure OBAMA BS. You can’t sue because you signed a contract and you are in violation no matter what their bogus promises are. Only thing you can do is vote them out. Wish I had read your blog before we went thru the drill – it is a dark tunnel, there is no ray of hope for the HAMP program—total propaganda – - I feel like a fool for believing the servicing companies actually had control and could make this work as I am sure you do

  53. Lisa says

    I am having problems with this modification/refinance myself. We are down to one income. I called my bank (Bank of America) in September because I knew that we would not be able to make the October payment. They told me that there was nothing they could do because I was not yet behind. I thought the program was designed to help you if you anticipate getting behind. Everything states “don’t wait, contact your lender today.” After getting behind on the mortgage, which I told them I would, I called. But because werefinanced in July, I am not eligible for the modification. We have been in our home 12 years. In those 12 years, we only got behind shortly following Hurricane Katrina because my husband was out of work. We are now getting behind on everything. We do not want to lose our home. I thought we could at least depend on this new plan to “help” american people keep their homes and that would be one less thing we have to worry about. What a joke. So much for that.

  54. Tim says

    I have a Fannie Mae backed loan through IndyMac (OneWest Bank). We have never been late on our payments, both with high credit score, etc… I have been calling them for two months now and keep getting the same answer that they don’t have the program in place to start taking application and that it should be up and running in a week or two.

    Have you heard anything like this related to IndyMac/OneWest Bank? If I keep getting the run around, who would I make a complaint to?

    • Keith Yamry says

      They started accepting applications… Of course, I was denied.. They said it’s because of my lender paid PMI they cannot refinance… I thought all i needed to do was refinance with the current provider, but apparently there are unseen rules to the fact..

      I’m currently with IndyMac (OneWestBank) 110% interest only @ 7.29% – and I meet all criteria for HARP according to the gov website

  55. Amanda says

    Who can I call about Bank of America givingme the run around about the Modification program which I quailify for. The first lady I spoke to at BOA was nice and told me I quailifed and she was going to put me through to someone that could help get the ball rolling, I was put on the line with a jerk who told me there was noting they could do for me and he would put in for my case to be reviewed and I would hear back in 120 days and in the mean time I needed to keep making my payments. He also said we didn’t make enough money for any of the programs offered and that we couldn’t afford our home. What can I do?

      • kelley says

        im having lots of trouble with bank of america to. all they do is give you he run around and keep asking for more information and after you send it to them they somehow end up losing it. so it takes 6 to 9 months for them to get their ducks in a row and by this time you are 9 months behind and they finally send you a letter 3 months later saying that you dont qualify and you should short sale your property and then they put our account in foreclosure and tell you that you can reinstate your loan by sending them 9,000.00. my mortgage is 800.00 a month ARM at 8% interest rate…what a freakin joke!!!! where do i go from here i want to keep my home and get my payments affordable?

  56. Kristina says

    We have a loan thru Wells Fargo. We contacted them in August of 2008 to tell them that we believed my husband was going to be laid off soon or have a cut in hours and we would not be able to make our full payment in the future. His hours were cut, and we started paying what we could afford, which was $200 less a month than our payment due. They wouldn’t apply any of the payments to our loan, but I continued to pay what we could. They finally got ahold of us in March of 2009 and said we were elligible for a home modification. We had to fax our paperwork at least 10 different times to 10 different numbers before they recieved it.. after I finally took it to my local branch, had someone in our local branch office sign a paper saying what we were faxing to them and when they faxed it, and faxed that along with our other papers they wanted… it seemed they were trying to get us to miss our deadline so they could put us into foreclosure. They then lowered our payment another $250 a month and said that is what it was going to be for the next 5 years, as long as we could make that payment for three months on time, our “trial” payment.. so we did, and we never heard from them, so for the next 3 months after our trial payments were over I have continued to make the payment, because I am not about to NOT pay something to them and let them say I am in default… and we just got some papers from them on Thursday afternoon saying that they are modifying us permanently (Finally, a YEAR later), but that we now have to pay $250 more a month than our trial payment… what good was seeing if we could afford to make the trial payment if it’s not even close to the payment they now want? $250 is a lot of money to us. They gave us the week of Thanksgiving to sign and mail the papers back to them, or we forfiet any agreements we have had… nice timing to get a lawyer to go over it with us and get it mailed back to them in time.
    Do they look at the fact that we didn’t go to the movies, out to dinner, have ANY credit cards, got things only when we could afford them and with cash, all BEFORE, we wern’t splurging on things we didn’t need… Do they look at ALL of our medical bills from our two little girls that we have, or the fact that with all we have on our plates we are foster parents, trying to do what we can to help?
    We are just a loan number, and they could care less about us or who we are, or what our family is about, just as long as they are making as much money as they can scrimp out of us.. how sad for our country.

  57. Bob H Santa Clara CA says

    My question has to do with applying for Home Equity Loan while applying for Making Home Affordable Refinance (MHAR). Our monthly bill payments could be reduced if we could consulate 20k debt. Future income is expected to improve somewhat within next few months, and I’m trying to avoid losing my credit. Our MHAR paper work has been submitted to Chase about 2 or 3 months ago. I don’t want to upset the possibility of completing MHAR. I wonder if it’s ok to proceed with applying for a Home Equity Loan at this time??? If so should I advise Home Equity Loan lender about current application with MHAR??? If I apply for Thank you for this website and any suggestions offered.

  58. Katia says

    I started my loan modification through Acorn Oct 2008, somehow Chase claimed they did not submit the requirement documents and had to start all over again in early 2010. I sent the documents, no response in March I called again and was assigned a negotiator who requested the same documents to be sent again for the “investors” to review, I did. I was put in a 3 month trial period which I complied even though the reduction was only about $200 from my original payment. After the 3 month I did not hear anything and I stopped making the payments since I really could no longer afford it. I contacted Chase in several occasions and finally in October I was able to speak to someone else who seemed not to know who the negotiator in my case was. He asked that I send the documents again so that the “Investors” can review my file, I did and after not hearing anything from Chase I called again in this week and they say that I was taking out of the modification program because I stopped making my payments after the 3 month trial period. It seems to be a never ending case and I am ready to give up.

  59. Texas refi says

    In March 08 we bought our home for 134500, put 20% 26900 down and financed 107600 @ 5.375% for 20 years. We have been paying an extra 67.40 per month to princ and each yr a lump sum pmt of 1200. Now our princ balance is 98145. Our loan is with Wells Fargo. We want to refi for 15 years at the new lower rates. We have excellent credit. I wanted to pay it down to 95K and just refi 95k.
    They are recommending the HARP government program @ 4.25% for 15 years but said that the loan amt MUST be at least 100,001.
    Q#1 Is that a requirement of HARP? If so, can part of the 100K be closing/refi costs ie (97k loan + 3k costs)?
    Also the automated value is 131,000 even though other comparable properties in neighborhood are selling for 117000-125000.

    Q#2 is it beneficial to me for the value to be less or should I not worry about that and accept the automated value?

    Q#3 Is that automated value the reason the loan must be over 100K?

    Q#4 The last thing I want is more government intervention in our privacy. Will this HARP program allow the government to access or monitor my loan?

    • Debbie Seals says

      At this point I wouldn’t give a mortgage company any more money than you owed for them to get interest off of. They are all greedy and won’t once take into consideration that you made this extra effort when god forbid you can’t make one payment. Keep your money don’t let the banks get richer.

  60. Kristi says

    Under the MHA program for a Fannie mae loan, Bank of America is giving me the run around. The loan was originally owned through countrywide. I accidentally had 1 late payment of 33 days in Dec 2008, so back in June I didn’t qualify. However, it has been the 12 months now, so they still tell me I am not eligible. What is the exact requirements? I have 2 morgages, a 1st and 2nd, the 1st should be eligible. The house is not worth less than the 1st mortgage, a credit score of 785. I have a very stable job. I remember last time you had to speak to a countrywide side person of BOA. Any ideas who I should call? Everyone I know who has tried this has gotten denied. Any ideas who I should call?

  61. fred says

    I too have a mortgage with BoA,and was told I Tax Advantage Mortgage Insurance so I do not qualify. I am current on all my bills (for now) but who knows for how long. Does anyone have any more info on refinancing with T.A.M.I? or is there some contact info for the government I can try? This seems unfair to exclude a whole bunch of Americans who have “T.A.M.I.”

    • John says

      I’m with fred and was told by BoA that I could not refinance under the Making Home Affordable program because of TAMI. This is completely unfair as I didn’t even know what TAMI was. My mortgage broker did not explain to me the difference or even give me a choice. Now I’m pretty much out of luck and may have to short sell or foreclose because of a divorce.

  62. Debbie Seals says

    Mortgage companies apparently want to own real estate. They are flat out not working with people. My fiance has tried 5 times since April 2009 to refinance and below is the crap they are giving him.
    1. The broker didn’t think it would go thru so he didn’t send it.
    2. The mortgage co. said credit score too low.
    3. The mortgage co. said since some mortgage payments made in cash(be advised he has all bank receipts) that he needed proof that he was really the one making the payment. Who the hell would make someone else’s payment?
    4. National City received all paperwork in October including the court order blessing the refinance from his bankrupty trustee and only after he called to check on the status 40 days later they said “oh you need to fill out new forms because PNC took over National City”. Note that PNC took over Nat. City in June and now it is our problem they are greedy and couldn’t update the needed forms to be used with the new name.
    5. After getting another court order from the bankruptcy with PNC listed as the mortgage co. he gets a call from PNC stating “we dropped the ball and didn’t get an FHA number by Nov. 16, 2009 so we can’t refinance you.

    This refinace needs to be done by April 2010 and there isn’t an intelligent mortgage company out there and they all seem to have different “FHA guidelines”.

    A person losing a home is not funny and should not be taken lightly especially since the other borrower is the one that left the marriage and this is all to get a name off a piece of paper.

    LET IT ALSO BE NOTED THAT HE HAS PAID HIS TRUSTEE PAYMENTS TO DATE AND IS TO BE DISCHARGE IN MAY AND ALL MORTGAGE PAYMENTS HAVE BEEN PAID TIMELY.

    IS THERE AN INTELLIGENT COMPANY OUT THERE TO WORK WITH? THIS WILL ALSO BE FORWARDED AS HIGH UP IN GOVERNMENT SO THEY CAN SEE THE BANKS ARE GREEDY, SELFISH AND ONLY WANT THEIR BONUSES.

  63. Marilyn Bradford says

    I’m having a tough time with B of A too. There seems to be a sticking point regarding what qualifies as the date of origin for the loan. I’ve had my home for 9 years, but my mortgage has been transferred and refinanced a couple of times. We did an FHA refinance last year, and the close date was in February. For that reason and seemingly no other, I’m unable to get help with my situation. My husband was laid off 8 months ago, and our savings are almost gone. Unless something is done to help people like me, foreclosure rates will still remain high. Any advice?

  64. gary smith says

    Dear Peter,
    In the first place America needs to realize we are being deceived by our own government regarding HAMP.
    Why isn’t America being told the truth? NO ONE will qualify for HAMP because it is under the control of the INVESTORS (primarily Communist China who bought the sub-prime notes) and NOT the SERVICING COMPANIES as outlined in the HAMP program. It is a SHAM, you must know it, I for sure know it after 7 months Trial Mod only to find out rejected because of, get this “You don’t meet INVESTOR GUIDELINES”. America has been given a false ray of hope because HAMP is a HOAX, a SHAM, and as my real estate attorney explained to me “OBAMA political BS’ designed to raise America’s hopes, make him look good. In reality we are in a terrific economic slump, I don’t care what the news trys to portray, housing values have declined where I am at by 20% in just the last 9 months – so sooner or later Washington, who definitely does not have my support after this HAMP SHAM, will have to realize actions, not words and false promises get results. I am not bitter, just very disappointed and have absolutely no trust in my elected officials – sad part is, I can’t do anything about it and they spend all their time scratching each other’s back while sticking a knife in ours! You probably won’t post this because it says exactly what is happening and is the truth but I thought you should at least hear it from an actual user who has been deceived along with the other 9 million home owners facing foreclosure.
    Sincerely,
    Gary Smith

    • says

      I have to agree to a point. This program has seemed to be pretty worthless for the people who REALLY need it. I was able to refinance our home mortgage through HARP, but if we hadn’t been able to it wouldn’t have been the end of the world. The people who really need help are the ones who are getting the run around, being told that they can’t get help until they are behind on payments, and being lied to and told they don’t qualify. I’m sure it is frustrating!

  65. Lynn says

    Hello:
    I think I have been taken advantage of through the PMI scam with
    Bank of America. 2 years ago I purchased a home. I was alarmed at the appraisal that came back on the house and felt something was wrong. I asked about it and was told by the lender that the appraisal was correct. When I contacted the county office; I was told that the county had assessed the value of the property at approximately $34,000 over what the bank had appraised it for. At the closing table I was told by the lenders representative that I should pay the PMI for a year then write in to have it removed, I was told I would have to pay for a new appraisal. A few months after closing, I looked at the appraisal and noticed that there were some major things missing. (For example, the home is equipped with a zoned dual heating and cooling system (2 furnaces and air conditioners zoned to heat and cool specific parts of the house). It is also equipped with a central vaccum system and a 13 station intercom and security system. None of which appeared on the appraisal. When I contacted the lender I was given the appraising company to call. I spoke with the owner of the appraisal company and was told that it shouldn’t make a difference because most people don’t want 2 furnaces and that it appeared that I had gotten a good deal on the house anyway; but for an additional $400.00 they would be happy to come out and reappraise the home. I didn’t know who to turn to, because I certainly did not trust them. I was told by the lender that I would need to use their appraiser to have it accepted. It is now 2 years later, I’m still paying PMI and I called to ask the bank what the requirements were, they sent me a letter which specifically says, “your loan is less than 5 years old and you therefore do not qualify for removal of PMI; contact us when your loan reaches 5 years old”. Let’s go back. I purchased the house on a foreclosure, it was 12 years old at the time for approximately $30,000 less than the bank appraised it for (keep in mind this is a low appraisal; and the county appraised the home at $34,000 more than the bank appraisal). 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath on .53 acres of land no major problems, I have sense upgraded appliances, flooring, light fixtures, interior paint, exterior paint. I have decided that this is much bigger than I can handle and am praying that God will intervene and lead me to a source that can help me get out of the PMI. It’s costing me approximately $100.00 extra per month and they want me to pay this for 3 more years. I have read online stories about this type of problem with the same lender and wonder if there are others out there. If there is some sort of recourse to help resolve the issue.

  66. Pam Herrenkohl says

    Help!
    After 6 1/2 months of jumping through every hoop they tossed my way to try to get my mortgage with Chase modified they decided to turn me down yesterday. Their reason: “I have too much equity”. I purchased my home May 2008 for $263,000. I live in a rural area in California, in a very depressed housing market. Their “Broker Price Opinion” decided my home is currently worth $337,000 which they claim puts me over the threshold by $5,600. I told them I think their “desktop” appraisal is way too high and asked what my options were to dispute this. I was told by a man who claimed to be a supervisor that they have no dispute process to handle such an inquiry. He suggested that I hire a licensed appraiser, at my own expense, ($450.00-$500.00), and submit the completed appraisal to them and “maybe” they will re-consider their decision. At this point I wonder if they ever had intended to even try to modify the loan and were looking for a convenient way to deny me. When I asked for a copy of their appraisal, I was told I could not have one. I also asked for a written denial, since I only learned of the denial because I was making my weekly follow up call to them at 5 am my time – they only time I can get through. I was told I would get a denial letter “sometime next month”. I am current with my loan and if you read between the lines of what he was saying today – he almost was suggesting I would have a much better chance at a modification if I was to become delinquent.
    Any ideas on what to do?

  67. Cynde says

    We asked about the programs multiple times before our financial institution finally agreed that we qualified for the program. First, we were told that our debt ratio wasn’t bad enough (one person actually told us that she didn’t see a problem because we were only “a few hundred dollars short each month”). Then, we were told that we had to be more than 60 days late in order to be referred to any kind of a program. Finally, in June 2009, we were told that we would be sent paperwork for the Making Home Affordable plan. Our paperwork stated that we needed to make trial period payments (smaller than our normal monthly payment) starting in August 2009. We also had to submit a stack of paperwork including proof of income, tax returns, etc., which we did. The paperwork stated that if we made the 4 payments on time (August 1, September 1, October 1 and November 1), we would be sent final paperwork. We made the four payments on time and heard nothing from the bank. On November 13, 2009, we received a letter that stated they had not received a copy of our tax returns. We had faxed and mailed this paperwork already so they should have actually had TWO copies of it. We sent a copy of our tax returns in their re-paid envelope. On November 30, 2009, we received another letter, again that stated they had not received a copy of our tax returns. This time we called and asked what we could do to make sure that the paperwork was routed to the correct place. They informed us that we needed to include our name, property address, phone number, loan # and case # on EVERY piece of paperwork sent in. We sent a new set of tax returns with every page having the information on it. We sent them again. We called a few days later and FINALLY they had them. All of this time we are stilling make the trial period mortgage payments on the 1st of each month. We overnighted the payments each time to make sure they got there on or before the 1st. On January 23, 2010, we received a letter that stated the “Our records reflect that we have not received all of your trial period mortgage payments. As a result, you are at risk of losing your eligibility for a permanent Home Affordable Mortgage”. The letter states that if we feel it is an error that we can send proof. I have proof that all payments were made and are mailing the proof tomorrow but what says they are going to get it? Is this ever going to end?

    • Cynde says

      Update: We finally received a permanent modification in March 2010. It was worth it in the end. They lowered our interest rate to 2% for the first five years, then it increases 1/2 percent every year, not to exceed 5.5%. This is fantastic considering our current fixed rate was 6%. It’s currently saving us about $400 per month. The process, in my mind, was horrific. Everything was our fault, nothing was there’s. I hope that you all have the patience to stick it out. Just do whatever they say and don’t take it personal, realizing that they are the incompetent ones. Document everything and make your trial payments on time. It’s worth it in the end.

  68. Brett says

    After all the work, paying for the aprasial, 1st @ 95% LTV, add the second, up to 113% LTV, 800+ credit, the second refused to subordinate. I just don’t understand. They are already second in line if I default. It would just stand to reason that they would want to help out my financial posititon with lower intrest to allow me to pay more towards my second. What gives? if people qualify for the MHA program, the Goverment needs to step in and force the holders of the second morgages to remain as second, to keep things as status quoe. After all, we the tax payers bailed them out!

  69. Bill says

    Great blog. My wife and I have over-levered and we have no one to blame but ourselves. That said, our property lost $100,000 in value in the downturn and even though we put $100,000 into the house, it is only worth $4000 more than we paid for it, and that was when it was in terrible condition.

    Fast forward to now. We are current on our mortgage, have been since we bought the house 5 years ago. We got our original primary mortgage through Taylor Bean Whittaker and it was sold to Wells Fargo. According to the Freddie Mac website, our loan is owned by them. So on paper, we qualify for HARP. I called Wells Fargo and the rep told me there was a code on my loan and that I don’t qualify for the HARP program. Now I am reading this blog and it sounds like this is not true. So my question is, what do I do? We have a new baby on the way, and while we can make our payments for now, it is going to quickly change come August 2010. Our LTV all in is 123% based on a terrible recent appraisal. Help is appreciated!!!

    • BL says

      I was a TB&W customer too (never late) and my loan is being serviced by Cenlar. I was told by them that as a TB&W customer and having a Freddie/Frannie backed loan that the gov’t has identified a couple of banks to re-fi under the HARP Plan. Fifth Third bank is one and I’m working on refinancing mine with about 113% LTV. You may want to contact them as I think they are going as high as 125% LTV. I’m told I’m approved and the loan is being processed. So far I havent faced the horror stories I’m reading on this blog. Good Luck to everyone.

  70. John says

    Mar. 23, 2010
    I have read all posts here. Since there was no dates on the posts, I’m wondering when the last posting from Bill was written. I myself had tried MHA refinancing from the period of Apr. 09 – Aug. 09 with every single effort in vain. Recently I called BOA to see if anything has changed but heard about “Phase 2″ for the loans with PMI, which I found just a hype they used in around last summer according to some posts in here. Just wondering if everybody has given up… (or any hope?)

  71. Bill says

    I posted that post around March 1 or maybe late Feb. Can’t remember.

    I dont qualify for HARP according to Wells Fargo (and the office of the president, whose office I contacted thanks to an email address on here) because my loan was not originated with Wells Fargo. It was sold to them by Taylor Bean Whittaker.

    Anyway, I am working on a loan modification with Wells Fargo – I sent them every last document what shows my financial condition, and I am waiting for them to get back to me (but before too long I will be calling them again). Matthew Turk is the gentleman that is working with us.

    I am really not expecting much. We have no one to blame but ourselves (actually I have no one to blame but myself). Just trying to do everything we can to get out of debt while there is still a chance. I don’t want to be saddled with 60k plus debt if I am forced to short sell my house and can’t cover what I owe on it. It’s just a bad situation.

    March 23 2010.

  72. John Wright says

    If it walks like a piggy, talks like a piggy, by golly it’s a PIGGY!

    BofA and it’s CEO Brian Moynihan reminds me of that song by John Lennon and George Harrison titled “Piggies” I invite you to listen to this song on youtube and see if it appropriately fits.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXdKlpBOvs0&feature=related

    Have you seen the little piggies
    Crawling in the dirt
    And for all the little piggies
    Life is getting worse
    Always having dirt to play around in.

    Have you seen the bigger piggies
    In their starched white shirts
    You will find the bigger piggies
    Stirring up the dirt
    Always have clean shirts to play around in.

    In their ties with all their backing
    They don’t care what goes on around
    In their eyes there’s something lacking
    What they need’s a damn good whacking.

    Everywhere there’s lots of piggies
    Living piggy lives
    You can see them out for dinner
    With their piggy wives
    Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon.

    Wright vs. Bank of America Lawsuit at: unitedlawgroup.com

    When I filed my lawsuit against Bank of America, myself and United Law Group thought of the many others out there in the same situation. It was then that we decided to educate the public on what these piggy banks are doing, as well as unite us all together as one voice. Please help me turn this David vs. Goliath modification process, into a Goliath vs. Goliath.

    Please stand with me and United Law Group and send an email to Bank of America that states that we will no longer tolerate their potentially illegal, fraudulent, irregular and abusive business methods.

    Divided we might have fell America, but united we must stand!

    Please send your email directly to Bank of America and include the following:

    1. Your name
    2. Your complaint concerning your experience with Bank of America.
    3. Please end your email “I support John Wright vs. BofA Lawsuit!”
    4. Please send a copy of your email to johns-wright@hotmail.com
    5. Please send your email to both BofA link below and the CEO email

    BofA Linked Email:
    https://www3.bankofamerica.com/contact/?lob=general&contact_returnto=&state=VA

    CEO Brian Moynihan:
    brian.t.moynihan@bankofamerica.com

  73. dianne johnson says

    dianne I have a mortgage with wells fargo to and my note is to high.i wish some one will help us.jesus help us all.amen.

  74. Kathy says

    My story begins with the now infamous Countrywide Home Loan which no longer exsists. I was one of the people who survived the change of hands only to get caught up in the modification BS. I was in a chapter 13 bankruptcy so really BAC was limited on what they could and could not do. I was behind one month when I contact BAC to see if I qualified for a modification after numerous phone calls to the Home Retention Division I was assured that I would qualify for the modifcation if only I were more then four months behind on my mortgage. I contacted my attorney and advised him of what I was told by BAC he of course was alarmed by this and contacted BAC’s attorney and was told that YES BAC DOES tell customers to stop making payments until the modification is complete. Months went by and I had not heard from BAC so I contacted my State Senator who contacted BAC and I’ll be darned if the modification didn’t get completed within the week. The problem is that per the Making Home Affordable program where the monthly payment is not suppose to exceed 33% (escrowed insurance and property tax are included in the 33%), I’m at almost 50% of my income ADD my principal went from $90,000.00 to $130,000.00. BAC told me to stop making payments and added $30,000.00 interest to my loan, now that’s one heck of a profit I would say!!!! Now BAC is telling me that my mortgage payment went up $100 more a month which is really nothing compared to what I have read other people have dealt with, but now BAC is sending me Notices of Exceleration for $145.00. The sad thing about this whole situation is that my house was paid off after my husband death and I let a local mortgage company talk me into taking out a loan, I can kick myself in the ASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  75. shelley says

    I have been paying omitted for three years. My payment was late in October so apparently I dont qualify because of that! The lenders aren’t very forthcoming with any type of help. If I can’t get rid of this pmi its going to run me out of my house! House values are dropping and property taxes have increased every year!

  76. fladiwah livin' says

    Well, we were not looking into this, but have received NUMEROUS phone calls and “important” letters from various loan officers at Wells Fargo. They are practically begging us to take their deal. Well, first of all, we said no, because we had paid down our loan to the point that we only had 14+ years left on our original 30 yr fixed rate loan. So, a few weeks later, they came out with a NEW program for 15 year loans. Well, by that time, we had less than 15 years left on our loan. They say that there are no appraisals, no closing costs to us, no points…just a 10 minute phone call. We have paid off our loan so that we were able to eliminate PMI and we have never been late. No idea what our credit score is-We’re Dave Ramsey fans and we don’t care what it is! ;) I agree with what one poster said, THE BANK IS NOT A CUSTOMER SERVICE OPERATION, it is a BUSINESS!!!! I am leary of this, also leary because I wonder what happens when the gov’t program goes bust? Will we be out on our rears? Should I trust this offer???

  77. NJ says

    We’re also Dave Ramsey fans! No debt = no credit score, right? Great job in paying down your mortgage! For those who need mortgage help, the HARP 2.0 is available until December 31, 2013. The LTV was lifted March 15, 2012. It was designed to help those underwater more than previously allowed; basically, the LTV is no longer a criteria for qualifiying. There are other criteria, however. Go to bankrate.com or google HARP 2.0 for more information. Also, NACA is a great site to help you get the refi’s or modifications anyone is looking for. The will work with you as a mediator/negotiator on your behalf.

  78. Gail says

    HOPE THIS IS HELPFUL,,,.You must almost always have a loss of income showing your mortgage is not affordable. I had a loss of income and tried for the modification twice and was turned down, in my case I had to fall at least 60 days behind before they finally accepted me into the program. I have entered into my 3 month trail period just paid the 3rd payment and just received my modification papers from my lender I must sign two copies and have them notorized. Which I am doing this week. My rate went from 6.625 to 3. somtEhing the months that I did not pay are wrapped back into my loan. If at anytime I fall 90 days behind the contract is null and void

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