New York is partnering with Fannie Mae to offer homeowners with risky mortgages the chance to refinance into 30- and 40-year fixed-rate mortgages to avoid foreclosure.
The $100 million “Keep the Dream” refinancing program unveiled Friday is a partnership between the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA), mortgage lenders and mortgage insurance companies. Aimed at borrowers with adjustable-rate or interest-only loans that have just reset or will soon reset, the refinancing loans are limited to the $417,000 conforming loan limit for up to 100 percent of property value.
Borrowers must show they have experienced hardship in making mortgage payments or expect to experience hardships in the near future. Those who are less than 60 days behind on their mortgage payments because of a payment increase may also be eligible for the program.
The program is targeted at low-, moderate- and middle-income homeowners. Eligible borrowers can have incomes of up to 165 percent of median income in New York City, Long Island and the counties of Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Westchester, Rockland and Putnam, and up to 125 percent of median income for the remainder of the state.
Fannie Mae will issue mortgage-backed securities (MBS) that will be secured by these mortgages, and the company’s $100 million contribution to the program is “an important part of the solution to the subprime problem,” New York officials said in a press release.
The program requires eligible borrowers to complete a homeowner education course with a federally approved, not-for-profit organization. Borrowers must also agree to participate in early delinquency intervention counseling should they become delinquent for 30 days or more on their refinanced mortgage.
The New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) will dedicate nearly $400,000 in Urban Homeownership Assistance Program grants to fund counseling through eight nonprofit agencies located in cities with more than 60,000 residents.
More information is available at the SONYMA Homebuyers Hotline, 800-382-HOME (4663). Borrowers in need of immediate assistance can also contact the national HOPE line run by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation at 888-995-HOPE (4673).