The American people have become all too familiar with the phrase “underwater mortgage” in the past five years. Owing more than your home is worth can make you feel powerless and alone. It can feel like you are being crushed under the weight of debt that you won’t be able to pay off in your lifetime. There is hope even now, though. Don’t give up before trying these solutions to help you come up for air:
HARP, or the “Home Affordable Refinance Program,” is a Federal program designed to help people refinance with little or no equity in their home. There are a number of conditions you need to meet to qualify, but if your home is underwater it is definitely worth checking into. It is not a silver bullet solution, but it can save quite a bit of money if you qualify for it. Check out our page here for information on what you need to qualify. Just keep in mind that this is a stop-gap measure. It can help keep you in your home while you figure out how to salvage the situation.
Another Federal program, the Home Affordable Modification Program is designed to change the terms of your mortgage contract. If you are able to demonstrate financial hardship that could prevent you from paying your mortgage, you may qualify for HAMP. It is important to understand that this is not a refinance program. HAMP essentially modifies the terms of your original loan to temporarily lower your monthly payments. This will allow you to stay in your home while you find a solution to your financial hardship.
There are many other proposed solutions to solving your underwater mortgage problem. However, many of them can damage your credit or backfire and worsen your situation. We urge you to try these two solutions first before you begin to look for other options.