Alternative Mortgage Modifications For Homeowners From Early 2011–What Assistance Opportunities Remain Outside Of HAMP?

Alternative assistance for homeowners who are struggling but had been unaided by the federal modification program have come in a variety of plans made available from servicers or state housing agencies, but many homeowners often focus on proprietary home loan modifications if a federal plan is unhelpful or if their servicer feels that more affordability or a swifter process through a proprietary modification plan can be made available to a particular homeowner in need. Yet, these assistance opportunities do still remain in place, by and large, but homeowners have questioned whether they are helpful as data from earlier in the year has suggested that even these alternative modification plans may have begun to slow in terms of the number of homeowners being helped.

The most recent data for these modifications made available from the HOPE NOW network has shown that, over the last few quarters, the total number of modifications that were completed did fall, and for March and April of 2011, these modification completions also fell, but there are indications that foreclosure starts have begun to slow, which may mean that there are fewer homeowners who are looking for these modification opportunities to help them avoid the loss of their home.

There are though, still homeowners who are finding it difficult to meet their mortgage payment and, as far as these proprietary home loan modifications go, problems have still been seen for certain homeowners, depending on the servicer they happen to be dealing with.  Also, there were complaints in the past that homeowners found proprietary modifications as cumbersome or unaffordable as federal home modification plans, which led to many feeling that these alternative routes were not much of a relief in terms of a homeowner’s concern about finding foreclosure prevention aid.

Yet, proprietary modifications are still being made by some of the top financial institutions and can help homeowners through similar means, by offering more affordable monthly payments, interest rate reductions, or other loss mitigation options. Homeowners do need to know that there may be opportunities in their state as well which could be helpful, since areas with particularly high levels of unemployment or housing problems have implemented various programs within federal initiatives.

As to whether a federal modification or proprietary modifications will be best for a homeowner, there are housing counselors that can be consulted on this issue, but homeowners may be able to simply talk with their servicer about what options or benefits a proprietary home loan modification may bring versus a federal modification, but of course, many servicers may require a homeowner to apply for a federal modification before being considered for these alternative plans. Sadly, not all homeowners are being able to take advantage of the alternatives available to them, as some are in a situation where this type of assistance is simply unavailable or unhelpful, but those who take action quickly may find the time to explore more of these alternative options that can help prevent foreclosure.