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Government programs available to avoid foreclosure

Long Island residents can face financial difficulties from time to time, including issues with making their mortgage payments. While it is essential for homeowners to keep their lender apprised of their situation to work out any possible arrangements, they may face foreclosure if their difficulties continue.

There are various methods and government programs available to homeowners in danger of facing foreclosure on their home. These programs are part of a larger strategy aimed at obtaining better loan terms or lower payments for homeowners struggling with meeting their current mortgage terms. Additionally, those that wish to get out of their current mortgage are provided with options to do so more easily. Programs such as HAMP, HARP, PRA and 2MP take into account a homeowner's income in determining lower payments or better terms. These programs also allow them to refinance their home or lower or eliminate a second mortgage.

For homeowners that owe more on their home than it is worth, programs such as HARP, PRA and FHA2LP may provide assistance. These programs seek to help them in refinancing their home or lowering the overall amount owed on their home. Homeowners that are currently unemployed may use the UP or EHLP programs to help avoid foreclosure. These programs allow homeowners to reduce or suspend their mortgage payments, or provide them with a temporary forbearance on the amounts due. Finally, for homeowners that no longer wish to keep their home and mortgage, they may be able to move to a more affordable home and get out of their mortgage more quickly through the HAFA program. They may also be able to reclaim their home after a foreclosure sale through a method called redemption. This entails paying the outstanding balance on the mortgage plus foreclosure costs incurred by the lending company.

Leveraging any of these programs can provide necessary assistance for eligible homeowners. Additionally, seeking the assistance of an attorney experienced in avoiding foreclosure can help struggling homeowners to identify the best option to avoid foreclosure.

Source: HUD.gov, "Avoiding Foreclosure," accessed on Sept. 13, 2015

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