Unemployment figures are down, home values are on the rise, and the economy is generally moving in the right direction. However, many people are still feeling the effects of the home crisis. Unfortunately, this means they are struggling to pay their mortgages or their home is under water (they owe more than the home is worth). In short, many Ohioans are still looking for a way out. Maybe the better question would be – is the housing crisis over for you?
Ohio housing values increased by 3.1% in 2015 according to Zillow.com. However, in Montgomery County (-1.8%) and Dayton, Ohio (-1%) housing values decreased during the same time period. Couple that with the fact that some people are back to work but just not making the money they used to due to smaller wages, no overtime or reduced work hours, and it’s understandable that some homeowners in the Miami Valley are still struggling.
However, there are ways to get your mortgage under control. The government programs, HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program) and HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program), have been renewed and will be available through December 31, 2016. Let’s take a look at each program and learn how it may help you.
A loan modification process, HAMP works well if you are behind on your mortgage and have an unaffordable monthly payment that exceeds 31% of your gross monthly income. Through the HAMP process your current servicer can modify the interest rate and/or term and/or defer a portion of the principal balance. This process leads to a reduced monthly payment for you.
A refinance process, HARP creates a new mortgage. You must be current on your mortgage with limited credit concerns. HARP is unique in refinance products as it allows for a new loan even if you owe more on your home than it is worth. Your loan must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Your loan also must have originated prior to May 31, 2009. This refinance process can help you lower your monthly payment or reduce your term so you are able to grow equity more rapidly.
You can check to see if you have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan on these two websites:
Fannie Mae: https://www.knowyouroptions.com/loanlookup
Freddie Mac: https://www.freddiemac.com/loanlookup/
If you are still living with the housing crisis, you probably have lots of questions about HAMP and HARP. Could you qualify for mortgage assistance? Is HAMP or HARP a good idea for you? Are there other options if you do not qualify for HAMP or HARP? Can you get help if you can no longer afford to stay in your home?
All of these questions and more can be answered at the HomeOwnership Center of Greater Dayton by a trusted Homeownership Advisor. Make an appointment to meet with a Homeownership Advisor and get the information you need to make the best decision for you. This program is grant funded and there is no fee for the homeowner. You can schedule your appointment online or you can call 937-853-1600.