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Alkalay & Smillie, PLLC

in Mt. Washington Valley, New Hampshire

Office: (603) 447-8994
Fax: (603) 297-2866

Articles of Interest

Attorney Edward Alkalay writes a regular column for the Conway Daily Sun newspaper entitled "The Legal Corner." His articles address a wide variety of timely legal issues. Click on the titles below to review his past articles.

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The Legal Corner: The Legal Corner: Saving your home

September 8, 2010

Many people that I have talked to are struggling to make their mortgage payments, and are very concerned about the possibility of foreclosure. Fortunately, there is a government program entitled the “Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)” that was enacted by the Obama administration and Congress that addresses this very concern. If you can no longer afford to make your current monthly mortgage payments, you may qualify for a loan modification to make your monthly payments more affordable. Homeowners who are current with their mortgage payments, but having difficulty making their payments, as well as homeowners who have already missed one or more payments may be eligible for the government’s loan modification program. Moreover, you may utilize this program even if your home is already scheduled for a foreclosure sale or you have filed for bankruptcy.
The basic eligibility requirements are: (1) your home must be your primary residence; (2) your unpaid mortgage balance must be less than $729,750.00 for a single-family home (I have no idea where they came up with this figure, but I imagine that most people in Carroll County will have no problem satisfying this requirement); (3) your first mortgage must have originated on or before January 1, 2009; (4) your monthly mortgage payments must be greater than 31 percent of your monthly income; and (5) your mortgage payments must be not affordable due to documented financial hardship.
To apply for a modification under HAMP, you must submit a package to your mortgage servicer that includes (1) a request for modification and affidavit (RMA); (2) a tax authorization form (IRS Form 4506T-EX; and (3) proof of income. A checklist of what documents can be used as evidence of income is available at www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov/checklist.shtml.
You should contact your mortgage servicer to confirm what documents it requires for this program. Your mortgage servicer’s address, phone number, and email address is located on your monthly mortgage statement/bill/coupon book. You may need a lot of patience in contacting your mortgage servicer. However, you must be persistent. The potential benefits of this program fair outweigh any frustration that you may face.
For details on the required information and forms that I have listed above, you should visit the following website: www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov. This site is fairly easy to use and will provide you all of the forms and information required to be considered for a loan modification or other programs. You can also speak to a government housing counselor approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at the Homeowner’s HOPE hotline: 888-995-HOPE (4673).
The Making Home Affordable Program is a critical part of the government’s effort to stabilize the housing market. It is designed to help struggling homeowners get relief and avoid foreclosure. There are many more details involved in this program that are beyond the scope of this article. However, if you are struggling to make mortgage payments, have missed mortgage payments, or are otherwise struggling financially, you should seriously consider this program. There is no cost to you for applying and you will not be charged any fees for participating in this program. Simply put, it is a no-lose option for struggling homeowners.

Edward D. Alkalay is a partner at Alkalay & Smillie PLLC and can be reached at (603)447-8994 or ed@northconwaylawyers.com. (This article conveys general information and should not be relied on for legal advice without further research and/or consultation with an attorney.)

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By: Edward D. Alkalay