Borrowers Who Are Current on Their Mortgage Are Asking:
1. What help is available for borrowers who stay current on their mortgage payments
but have seen their homes decrease in value?
Under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan, eligible borrowers who stay
current on their mortgages but have been unable to refinance to lower their interest rates
because their homes have decreased in value, may now have the opportunity to refinance
into a 30 or 15 year, fixed rate loan. Through the program, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
will allow the refinancing of mortgage loans that they hold in their portfolios or that they
placed in mortgage backed securities.
2. I owe more than my property is worth, do I still qualify to refinance under the
Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?
Eligible loans will now include those where the new first mortgage (including any
refinancing costs) will not exceed 105% of the current market value of the property. For
example, if your property is worth $200,000 but you owe $210,000 or less you may
qualify. The current value of your property will be determined after you apply to
3. How do I know if I am eligible?
Complete eligibility details will be announced on March 4th when the program starts.
The criteria for eligibility will include having sufficient income to make the new payment
and an acceptable mortgage payment history. The program is limited to loans held or
securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
4. I have both a first and a second mortgage. Do I still qualify to refinance under the
Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?
As long as the amount due on the first mortgage is less than 105% of the value of the
property, borrowers with more than one mortgage may be eligible to refinance under the
Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan. Your eligibility will depend, in part, on
agreement by the lender that has your second mortgage to remain in a second position,
and on your ability to meet the new payment terms on the first mortgage.
5. Will refinancing lower my payments?
The objective of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan is to provide
creditworthy borrowers who have shown a commitment to paying their mortgage with
affordable payments that are sustainable for the life of the loan. Borrowers whose
mortgage interest rates are much higher than the current market rate should see an
immediate reduction in their payments. Borrowers who are paying interest only, or who
have a low introductory rate that will increase in the future, may not see their current
payment go down if they refinance to a fixed rate. These borrowers, however, could save
a great deal over the life of the loan. When you submit a loan application, your lender
will give you a "Good Faith Estimate" that includes your new interest rate, mortgage
payment and the amount that you will pay over the life of the loan. Compare this to your
current loan terms. If it is not an improvement, a refinancing may not be right for you.
6. What are the interest rate and other terms of this refinance offer?
The objective of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan is to provide borrowers
with a safe loan program with a fixed, affordable payment. All loans refinanced under
the plan will have a 30 or 15 year term with a fixed interest rate. The rate will be based
on market rates in effect at the time of the refinance and any associated points and fees
quoted by the lender. Interest rates may vary across lenders and over time as market rates
adjust. The refinanced loans will have no prepayment penalties or balloon notes.
7. Will refinancing reduce the amount that I owe on my loan?
No. The objective of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan is to help
borrowers refinance into safer, more affordable fixed rate loans. Refinancing will not
reduce the amount you owe to the first mortgage holder or any other debt you owe.
However, by reducing the interest rate, refinancing should save you money by reducing
the amount of interest that you repay over the life of the loan.
8. How do I know if my loan is owned or has been securitized by Fannie Mae or
To determine if your loan is owned or has been securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie
Mac and is eligible to be refinanced, you should contact your mortgage lender after
March 4, 2009.
9. When can I apply?
Mortgage lenders will begin accepting applications after the details of the program are
announced on March 4, 2009.
10. What should I do in the meantime?
You should gather the information that you will need to provide to your lender after
March 4, when the refinance program becomes available. This includes:
"¢ Information about the gross monthly income of all borrowers, including your
most recent pay stubs if you receive them or documentation of income you
receive from other sources
"¢ Your most recent income tax return
"¢ Information about any second mortgage on the house
"¢ Payments on each of your credit cards if you are carrying balances from month to
month, and payments on other loans such as student loans and car loans