Thursday, May 31, 2012

HAMP Changes Take Effect Friday June 1

Effective Friday, June 1, 2012 HAMP “Tier 2”  -  which many people have simply referred to as HAMP 2.0  -  will roll out for the Making Home Affordable (MHA) loan modification program.  Like many MHA updates, these changes apply to non-GSE mortgages. 

The goal of HAMP 'Tier 2' is to increase eligibility for homeowners, including:
  • those who did not meet the original HAMP guidelines,
  • those who may have failed on a HAMP modification, or 
  • those who own rental properties.

With HAMP 'Tier 2', many of the initial qualification criteria are still in place:
  • loan must have been originated before January 1, 2009, 
  • homeowner must be able to document a financial hardship;
  • Only loans on properties with one-four units can be modified;
  • there is a maximum outstanding loan amount (maximum unpaid principal balance.

But now, a borrower may also be considered for HAMP 'Tier 2' if any of the following also apply:
  • they did not successfully complete (defaulted on) a HAMP 'Tier 1' modification;
  • their monthly mortgage payment is below the minimum 31 percent front end Debt-To-Income ratio;
  • and, most controversially, up to three seperate mortgages may be modified if they secure rental properties
No mortgage loan may be modified more than once in either Tier 1 or Tier 2. 

People interested in learning more about the HAMP program and the new 'Tier 2' changes, can visit the Making Home Affordable website, here.

The Homeownership Advisors Network will continue to focus its attention on helping owner-occupants avoid foreclosure, but may be able to answer some basic questions for rental property owners as well.

HAMP, HAMP 2.0, DTI, VPN, HARP, MHA, GSE... the 'alphabet-soup' of programs, agencies and programs can be overwhelming for struggling homeowners.  In Minnesota, there is a FREE, effective resource available: The Homeownership Advisors Network.  Trained and certified foreclosure prevention experts can work with YOU to find a solution to YOUR mortgage issues.  Don't delay, contact an advisor by visiting the Center's website today.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Partnership Simplifies Finding Down Payment Help in Minnesota

The Minnesota Homeownership Center is proud to announce a new partnership with Down Payment Resource, the first web-based down payment assistance search tool to help both home buyers and Real Estate professionals seeking down payment and entry-cost assistance programs in Minnesota!

Beginning today,  the Center will offer direct access to Down Payment Resource through our website, and use our local expertise and existing partnerships to ensure the ongoing integrity of Minnesota-specific program information within the service.

REALTORS and other real estate professionals: imagine being able to print out a list of all possible down-payment and entry cost assistance programs to use as a handout at your open houses... or in your Buyers' Packets.  You can!  Visit the Center's website for a link to the new tool as well as other tools the Center has that can help YOU as you assist clients on their road to successful and sustainable homeownership.

Here are links to a couple of testimonials of the service... one from the perspective of a homebuyer, and one from the perspective of a REALTOR that uses the system to promote her listings and help her clients.

This is not Down Payment Resource's (DPR) first partnership in Minnesota... nearly two years ago, DPR began working with the NorthstarMLS which became the first MLS in the country to offer links to the DPR service. DPR aggregates down payment assistance information into its online platform and integrates that information into the NorthstarMLS (and other MLS systems throughout the country).  The tool helps connect eligible homebuyers and eligible properties with assistance, bridging the down payment gap for homebuyers, as well as moving real estate transactions forward in a difficult lending environment.

Many first-time buyers are unaware that they may qualify for down payment or other assistance programs in Minnesota.  It can be especially challenging to understand the requirements, benefits and application process for multiple programs.  This new partnership combines the Center's focus on sustainable homeownership through education and outreach with the content-rich and easy-to-use online platform from DPR.  Consumers that are looking for additional information about homeownership or any of the assistance programs, are connected to the FREE non-profit counseling services available through the Homeownership Advisors Network directly from the system.

Here's what DPR has to say about the partnership (from our press release): 
“We are thrilled to work alongside partners that share our goal of empowering consumers with information on down payment and closing cost assistance," said Rob Chrane, president of Workforce Resource. "The Minnesota Homeownership Center's leadership in housing, statewide expertise and relationships across Minnesota with affordable housing stakeholders will help increase program awareness across the state."

We're excited to be working with Workforce Resource / DPR too!

Have you used the system (either through the current arrangement with the NorthstarMLS or the new tool)? Let us know in the comments!