More than 81,000 Florida homeowners missing out on government loan modification help [5-20-15]
Article Courtesy of The Palm Beach Post
By Kimberly Miller
Published May 20, 2015
A mortgage modification program that was scheduled to expire at the end of this year has been extended through 2016 as 604,680 eligible borrowers nationwide have failed to apply for the plan.
The program, which could help 81,422 Florida homeowners reduce their monthly mortgage payments, is the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, which cuts mortgage payments on underwater loans by reducing loan interest rates.
Borrowers can save up to $3,000 per year by refinancing through HARP, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Earlier this Month, Melvin Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, announced the extension of HARP and another government program, the Home Affordable Modification Program.
“Although the number of new borrowers entering these two programs continues to decline, in part because many eligible borrowers have already taken advantage of them and in part because of recovering house prices, lenders and servicers are continuing to approve new HAMP modifications and HARP refinances,” Watt said. “Extending HAMP and HARP through the end of 2016 will provide real relief for borrowers who continue to face challenges either paying their mortgage or refinancing their loan.”
In South Florida, which includes Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties, 17,227 eligible homeowners have not taken advantage of the refinance program. That includes 3,877 in Palm Beach County, 6,054 in Broward, and 7,311 in Miami-Dade.