The sub prime mortgage crisis, fueled by the greed and often negligence of the lending industry's major players has left millions of homeowners facing the worrisome prospect of losing their homes.
On February 18, 2009, President Obama introduced the nation to his housing plan.
This plan involves several programs which are designed to help over seven million families potentially facing foreclosure to avoid the grief and stress of a foreclosure by giving them options.
These options will include either refinancing or modifying their existing mortgages in hopes of ultimately making those mortgages become affordable and bearable once again.
Additionally, Obama's program intends to reinforce and revitalize the federal government's commitment to Government Sponsored Entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, leaders in the secondary mortgage market.
On March 4, 2009, President Obama's administration released news and information that detailed the intricacies of the program and provided guidance on the Making Home Affordable Program.
While there are several characteristics and facets of this program, the main points for homeowners to know are listed below.
The Home Affordable Refinance Program.
Under this program, eligible borrowers may refinance loans that Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (the government sponsored enterprises, or GSEs) own or guarantee.
The program can help homeowner-occupants who are current in making loan payments and have loan-to-value ratios (LTVs) above 80 percent but not more than 105 percent.
Cash out refinancings are not permitted.
The program ends in June 2010.
The Home Affordable Modification Program.
This is a $75 billion program with lender, servicer, investor, and borrower incentives to make it work.
The program is limited to homeowner-occupants who are at risk of default or already in default and who have loans at or below the maximum GSE conforming loan limit of $729,750 (or higher for 2-, 3-, and 4-unit properties).
Loan modifications under the program may be made until December 31, 2012.
More Support for the GSEs.
President Obama also announced more support for the GSEs, including doubling of potential Treasury investment from $100 billion to $200 billion for each GSE, to maintain their positive net worth.
The plan also raises the cap on mortgages that the GSEs may hold in their portfolios by $50 billion to $900 billion.
Ultimately, this program intends to set this country back on the path to growth, profitability and success.
Hopefully, with the government's continued support and diligence on the part of homeowners, we, as a nation, will begin to see the signs of recovery soon.