Triangle Business Today

Foreclosure Help - It's Here!

Posted April 17, 2009 2:18 p.m. EDT
Updated April 20, 2009 8:18 a.m. EDT

An estimated 9 million homeowners have been identified as a group which could greatly benefit from the government’s new foreclosure mitigation plan. The plan, which officially rolled out March 4, 2009, is the first real government plan which addresses foreclosures in such a large manner.

Details of the plan had been slow to roll out, but now that we’re six weeks or so into the program, I wanted to clarify for you the who, what, why and how of The Housing Stimulus Initiative of 2009.

Eligibility – to find out if you and your mortgage are eligible for this program, you need to go to and input your house address information to find out if you have a loan which is currently owned by either of the GSE’s, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac in the case of a refinance. If you are attempting to use the modification avenue then your loan does not have to be owned or securitized by the GSE’s.

If your mortgage is eligible for either a refinance or a modification, now it’s time to see if you can qualify for either option.

Let’s start with the requirements for refinance…
• You must be current on your mortgage payments – current means that you may not have been more than 30 days past due over the past twelve months
• The house must be your primary residence
• You must owe less than 105% of the current value of the home

The requirements for modification are different…
• You do NOT have to be current on your mortgage
• Your loan does not have to be owned or securitized by the GSE’s
• The house must be your primary residence
• Total house payment (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) must be more than 31% of your gross monthly income

If you meet the above criteria then you are now ready to begin the fun part of the process –qualifying with the lender. Remember that simply because your loan is an eligible loan for this process, it does not mean that you will necessarily qualify for help. There are a number of underwriting guidelines which you must be able to meet in order to benefit from this program.

Have no fear – even if you don’t fall into one of the appropriate buckets above, there still may be help out there for you. Remember – Lenders don’t want to be the owners of millions of homes across the country, so they are motivated to help you in any way they can to keep you in your home.

One other piece of advice – unfortunately we’re beginning to see unscrupulous entities enter the mortgage market posing as companies who will “help you modify” your mortgage loan – for an upfront fee. Taking an upfront fee for any type of service like this is illegal. If you come across such companies, please do not engage in business with them, and turn their names over to the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks.


Jeremy M. Salemson
Corporate Investors Mortgage Group, Inc.

About this Blog:

Jeremy Salemson, CEO of Corporate Investors Mortgage Group, blogs about economic trends and data and their impact on Triangle business. Each week, he interviews a Triangle-area business leader for a personal look at the local economy.