Homeowner assistance from Bank of America that goes beyond home loan modifications from the Making Home Affordable Program are available thanks to additional programs which extend from the Home Affordable Modification initiative. These additional plans which have been used by servicers like Bank of America, among others, can address troubles homeowners are having related to unemployment, second liens, underwater mortgages, and foreclosure.
While unemployment is one of the main reasons homeowners suffer with their mortgage payment obligation, the Home Affordable Unemployment Program may assist homeowners through forbearance initiatives which can be offered. Servicers like Bank of America were previously able to count unemployment benefits as income, but unemployed homeowners did not have sustainable income which provided long-term security, so those who are relying on unemployment benefits may not qualify for a home loan modification. As a result, the Unemployment Program from the Making Home Affordable Program will either reduce a homeowner’s monthly payment when they are unemployed or offer them forbearance, which will completely suspend their payments for a minimum of three months.
Yet, some homeowners who have received a home loan modification and have not found the affordability they need in their monthly mortgage payments have discovered that their second mortgage is the problem in some cases. It’s because of this that the Second Lien Modification Program was enacted and for homeowners with servicers like Bank of America, this particular modification program may address the issue of a second mortgage and an unaffordable mortgage payment that a homeowner may have after modification on their primary home loan.
However, some homeowners who are suffering from negative equity or who are simply in a financial position where these assistance plans and extension programs are unhelpful may face foreclosure as a result. Obviously, homeowners have wished to avoid foreclosure at all costs, but servicers have been able to offer foreclosure alternatives to those who qualify. These foreclosure alternative typically center around either deed in lieu of foreclosure plans or short sales for homeowners who can find a buyer to purchase their underwater mortgage. While these plans are not guaranteed to homeowners, deed in lieu of foreclosure’s allow troubled homeowners to surrender the deed to their home and escape a formal foreclosure process as a result, while a short sale obviously allows the homeowner to sell their home at a loss, but also avoid remaining financial commitment on their underwater home.
While the availability and usefulness of these programs will depend on a homeowner’s servicer and their particular situation, these assistance plans are no guarantee and may not be available to every homeowner. Yet, advisers have still suggested that homeowners who are in trouble or foresee difficulties on the horizon contact their mortgage servicer or a certified housing counselor to begin exploring foreclosure prevention options for their personal situation.