Behind on Your Mortgage? There is Hope.

Seems like there’s a story in the news just about every day about how unemployment is down and the economy is improving. I’m sure that’s happening somewhere, but in my house (and those of many people I know), the economy is still floundering. Unfortunately, in uncertain times like these, honest, hardworking people sometimes have trouble making their mortgage payments. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The Ad Council, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development want you to know that real help is available to families who are behind on their mortgage payments, or worried about how they will make the next one. Nearly one in 17 homeowners nationwide has fallen behind on his or her mortgage payments, putting them at a higher risk of foreclosure. Homeowners should not feel alone, but many do.

That is why the Making Home Affordable® (MHA) program provides free resources and assistance for distressed homeowners who are working hard at juggling expenses to makes ends meet. Many of these homeowners may be unaware that MHA has expanded its options, and may have a solution available to address their particular financial situation. Moreover, the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) – available in 18 states and the District of Columbia — also helps real people get back on their feet and on the road to financial stability in states hit hard by the economic and housing downturn.

Across the country, more than 1.5 million families have already benefited from MHA. Through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), homeowners have been able to reduce their monthly mortgage payments by approximately $500 each month. That’s real payment relief.

Homeowners across the U.S. need to know help is available now. If you or anyone you know are having a tough time making mortgage payments and don’t know where to turn, here’s some ideas:

    • Check out these video testimonials. These are genuine success stories from real people who have used the MHA resources. These homeowners were able to overcome potential foreclosure and save their homes. Their stories are a true testament to Making Home Affordable. Listen to their mortgage stories and witness their MHA journeys so that any homeowners may learn about the free resources and assistance available.

  • Visit to learn about available programs to help with mortgage payments.
  • Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) – HAMP® is designed to lower monthly mortgage payments, making them more affordable and sustainable for the long-term.
    • HAMP achieves a more affordable payment by adjusting the mortgage interest rate, extending the term of the loan, and reducing or forbearing principal.
    • Homeowners have saved about $500 per month.
    • Through HAMP, homeowners can get help with their primary residence or rental property.
    • Homeowners who owe significantly more than their home is worth (>115% Loan-To Value or LTV ratio) are automatically evaluated for principal reduction.
    • Just for making timely payments, homeowners could earn up to $10,000, which is used to reduce the principal balance of their mortgage.
  • Hardest Hit Fund (HHF)– HHF programs are designed to complement MHA programs and provide assistance to struggling homeowners, like those in the testimonial videos, through modifications, mortgage payment assistance, and transition assistance programs. HHF programs vary state to state, but often include:
    • Mortgage payment assistance for unemployed or underemployed homeowners.
    • Principal reduction to help homeowners get into more affordable mortgages.
    • Funding to eliminate homeowners’ second lien loans.
    • Help for homeowners who are transitioning out of their homes and into more affordable places of residence.
  • Through the Federal Making Home Affordable program, many homeowners have received much-needed help to reduce their monthly payments, get mortgage relief, and avoid foreclosure. Homeowners who are struggling to make mortgage payments can call 888-995-HOPE or visit for free resources and information to help them with their mortgage problems and avoid foreclosure. By calling 888-995-HOPE, homeowners can speak with a housing expert at a HUD-approved counseling agency at no cost, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and identify potential solutions based on their individual

Why You Should Think Twice Before Co-Signing a Loan

With the economy still gasping along, more and more families are running into credit problems. For some, bankruptcy is the only solution. Others try to restructure their debts. And still others try to borrow money from friends or relatives. If you’ve ever been in this situation–either as the borrower or the lender–you won’t want to miss this guest post by Briana Fabbri.

Do you have friends or relatives who are having trouble getting a loan?  Have you considered co-signing a loan for them?

While you may have both good credit and the best intentions, you should carefully consider the ramifications before you agree to co-sign a loan:

  • First and foremost, lenders will treat this loan as if it were made directly to you.  If the borrower fails to make the loan payments in a timely manner, your credit rating could be affected.  The missed payment could be reported to your credit report, and would potentially reduce your credit score.  [Read more…]