Monday, January 14, 2008

Subprime Borrowers Get Hope...Now

If you are a homeowner with a subprime mortgage, chances are, you could use a little hope, right about now. You may be in luck. Mortgage servicers representing 90 percent of the subprime industry say they want to lend you a hand.

by Broderick Perkins
© 2008 DeadlineNews.Com

Deadline Newsroom - If you are a homeowner with a subprime mortgage, chances are, you could use a little hope, right about now.

You may be in luck. A program that just happens to be called HopeNow is putting the kind of hope you need on the fast track. Refinanced mortgages with fixed rates are available from the HopeNow program for qualified homeowners struggling with subprime mortgages.

Since it was created last year, HopeNow has taken applications from 45,000 subprime borrowers looking for some quick relief from mortgages they can't handle.

Along with easier-to-manage mortgages, homeowners who refinance under the HopeNow program also get counseling to make sure they hold onto their new refinanced mortgage -- and their home.

The program has the blessings of both the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs. The outreach program contacts subprime borrowers before they get into trouble and gives them the help they need to remain homeowners.

HopeNow is the work of mortgage servicers who represent 90 percent of the subprime market. The subprime mortgage market includes 2 million subprime mortgage holders who have mortgages that could reset to higher rates in the next two years, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

The HopeNow program's fast track effort is speeding early applicants through the refinance process to free up time for mortgage servicers to focus on the more difficult cases, according to the Treasury Department.

The ultimate goal is to prevent as many foreclosures as possible.

For more information, visit the Web site or call 1-888-995-HOPE (4673).

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Hope Now's effort to fast-track qualified borrowers into new, affordable loans "Will be measured by the number of avoidable foreclosures that are prevented, not by the number of refinancings or modifications with an interest rate freeze."

The federal government/mortgage servicers alliance includes the American Bankers Association; American Financial Services Association; American Securitization Forum; America's Community Bankers; Assurant, Inc.; Bank of America (which plans to purchase home loan lender Countrywide Financial); CCCS Atlanta, Inc.; Carrington Mortgage Services; Citigroup Inc.; Consumer Bankers Association; Consumer Mortgage Coalition; EMC Mortgage, Inc.; Fannie Mae; The Financial Services Roundtable; First Horizon National Corporation; First Tennessee Home Loans; Freddie Mac: GMAC ResCap; Homeownership Preservation Foundation; Housing Partnership Network; The Housing Policy Council; HSBC Finance; Indymac Bank; JPMorgan Chase & Co; Litton Loan Servicing; Merrill Lynch; Home Loan Services/Wilshire; Morgan Stanley/Saxon; Mortgage Bankers Association; National City; NeighborWorks America; Ocwen Loan Servicing; Option One Mortgage Corporation; PMI Mortgage Insurance Co.; Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association; State Farm Insurance Companies; SunTrust Mortgage, Inc.; Washington Mutual, Inc.; and Wells Fargo & Company, among others.

• Find more ways to Cope With The Mortgage Meltdown.

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© 2008 DeadlineNews.Com

Broderick Perkins, an award-winning consumer journalist of 30 years, is publisher and executive editor of San Jose, CA-based DeadlineNews.Com, a real estate news and consulting service, and the new Deadline Newsroom, DeadlineNews.Com's new backshop. In both cases, it's where all the news really hits home.

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