June has brought reports that the average price of homes, in the month of May, decreased slightly, which has led some homeowners to resign themselves to the fact that there are some areas of the nation that will continue to struggle in the area of housing and may not see improvements for quite some time. However, there are also conflicting reports that show certain states and counties are seeing home prices either come back to levels that were established well before the recession or, in some cases, a minimal dip in housing prices was seen. Homeowners continue to wonder if there are options that are still in place to help with the multitude of issues they face in relation to the devaluation on their property.
Over the past months, it has been reported on that there are indeed opportunities that homeowners are using when it comes to either refinancing their underwater home loan or as a way to avoid a formal foreclosure. Sadly, this topic is one that is constantly bringing about questions from consumers as some are unsure of what they can do when continued decreases are present or some homeowners are simply tired of paying on a home which continues to lose value. While the options for homeowners who can’t afford their underwater mortgage payment are vastly different from those who are facing foreclosure as a result of negative equity and other hardships, options to refinance or avoid foreclosure are usually from only a few sources.
As an example, the extension program within HAMP known as the Home Affordable Refinance Program has been one of the opportunities that homeowners have when it comes to finding more affordability on their home loan, but there are some instances where a traditional modification has helped in spite of decreased property values. Homeowners who are looking for affordability and want to stay in their home may also have these options available from state housing agencies, as there are programs that are addressing negative equity and unemployment specifically in areas where these hardships are affecting a greater number of homeowners than the national average.
According to reports released in early June though, April brought about an increase in the number of the short sale and deed in lieu of foreclosure programs which are also offered within programming available from HAMP and have provided the transitional assistance that homeowners need when foreclosure prevention is impossible and negative equity prevents a homeowner from simply selling their home in a traditional manner or even refinancing. While these foreclosure alternatives do still cause a homeowner to take a hit to their credit score, homeowners can talk over these options with their bank or a HAMP housing counselor to see exactly how their situation can best be helped by available plans. Sadly, this topic is one that will probably necessitate continual coverage as housing value decreases are continuing, but homeowners can rest assured that there are options available if the foreclosure or other hardships are resulting from negative equity.