Industry NewsMortgage

Hope for Homeowners program launches

Government, industry programs take aim at foreclosures

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Hope for Homeowners, a program created by Congress to assist homeowners at risk of loan default and foreclosure that will allow some homeowners to refinance into more affordable FHA-insured mortgages, launched Wednesday. An estimated 400,000 homeowners could avoid foreclosure through participation in this program, which is voluntary for lenders and is scheduled to run through Sept. 30, 2011. That program is among an assortment of federal, state and industry efforts intended to stem the tide of foreclosures. Under Hope for Homeowners, lenders will determine a homeowner's eligibility and consider loan modifications to lower the monthly mortgage cost, and can also consider whether to take a loss on the difference between an existing loan and a new loan set at 90 percent of the home's current appraised value. Existing mortgages must be originated on or before Jan. 1, 2008, and existing mortgage payments as of March 1, 2008, must exceed 31 percent of the borrower's gross mon...