Mortgage Relief Programs Coming to a Close

Madeleine Jones
October 19, 2016

Image of house with flowers on a sunny dayGovernment relief programs designed to help homeowners keep their homes will come to a close at the end of December. Homeowners in Nevada that are currently underwater or facing foreclosure should act immediately to take advantage of these programs before they fade away.

The Making Home Affordable Program (MHA)

This program includes three primary components; the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), and the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA.) The program was created in response to the housing crisis which saw a record number of foreclosures sweep across the country.

HAMP

HAMP can be used by homeowners to reduce their monthly mortgage payments if they are facing financial hardship, or if they are in danger of falling behind in these payments. The deadline for applying for HAMP is December 30th.

HARP  

HARP assists homeowners who are underwater on their mortgage. The program allows homeowners with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loans to refinance their current mortgage. The deadline for applying for HARP has been extended to September 30th, 2017.

HAFA

HAFA allows homeowners to complete a short sale rather than face foreclosure. The program also allows applicants to receive a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. The deadline for applying for HAFA is December 30th.

Nevada Remains at Risk

In 2009, Nevada’s legislature responded to the crisis by instituting the Foreclosure Mediation Program (FMP) that forces banks to negotiate with homeowners facing foreclosure. This program remains in effect, but it too may come to an end when the ball drops at the end of the year.

While Nevada’s foreclosure rates are declining, the state still has some of the highest foreclosure rates in the country. During the housing crisis, Nevada was included in the “Hardest Hit Fund” and targeted to receive considerable assistance from the Federal government. Even with this assistance, by January 2016 nearly 1 in 4 Las Vegas homeowners were underwater.

Quick Action is Needed

Homeowners seeking to take advantage of HAMP, HARP, HAFA, or the FMP should act quickly. The application can take months to process, and the sooner homeowners start the process, the more likely they will receive a favorable outcome. A real estate attorney in Las Vegas can help prepare the necessary documents and ensure that everything is in order when the application is submitted. For now, these programs remain the best hope homeowners have of keeping their homes and avoiding foreclosure.