Friday, July 15, 2016

Mortgage Relief Programs Set to Expire

If you live in Oak Park and are at risk of foreclosure, you should be considering the mortgage relief programs that could be available to you since two significant federal programs will soon be expiring. According to a recent report from NBC 5 News Chicago, opportunities to obtain relief from the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) will expire on December 31, 2016. Although the economy is recovering and home sales in Illinois are bouncing back, many families in the region continue to experience debt problems and continue to have difficulty making monthly mortgage payments. You should know that there are options to avoid foreclosure, and an experienced foreclosure defense lawyer in Oak Park can discuss those options with you.
In the meantime, if you might be eligible for relief under HAMP or HARP, you should learn more about these programs before their looming expiration date.
Federal Programs Already Have Helped Thousands of Families
According to the report, both HAMP and HARP already have helped thousands of homeowners in the Chicago area alone who have faced foreclosure. What have these programs been able to do? As their names suggest, they allow struggling homeowners to modify their mortgages or to refinance their home loans, lowering monthly mortgage payments in the process to an amount that homeowners can afford.
But these programs were not designed to last forever, and Chicago-area residents will need to act quickly if they want to take advantage of the benefits of HAMP or HARP. As NBC News explains, both of these federal programs were developed “during the height of the country’s foreclosure crisis,” and since we have largely emerged from that crisis as a nation, the programs are set to conclude.
Thousands of Chicago-Area Homeowners Remain Eligible
Despite the fact that the foreclosure crisis largely has come to an end, thousands of homeowners in the Chicago area remain eligible for HAMP and/or HARP. As the article explains, the Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago (NHS) has identified 27,639 homeowners in the area who are eligible for HAMP and/or HARP. According to Karen Woods, the NHS director of homeownership services, “it’s important that homeowners not delay in seeking assistance through these federal programs.” As a non-profit counseling organization, NHS “works with businesses, government, and residents to revitalize Chicago’s low-to-moderate-income neighborhoods.”
If you are struggling to pay your mortgage, which program is likely right for you? According to an article in, HAMP is primarily for homeowners who are currently in danger of defaulting on their loans. However, homeowners are only eligible for this program if their current mortgage payment equals more than 31% of the monthly gross income—HAMP helps homeowners by adjusting mortgage terms so that the monthly payment falls below this amount. Differently HARP can help all homeowners “no matter how far underwater” to refinance their mortgages.
Contact a Foreclosure Defense Attorney in Oak Park
If you are having difficulty making monthly mortgage payments and are currently at risk of foreclosure, you should understand the options that are available to you. An experienced foreclosure defense attorney in Oak Park can discuss those options with you today. Contact the Emerson Law Firm for more information about how we can assist you.
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