Home / News / Government / Gov. Launches Homeowner Website
Print This Post Print This Post

Gov. Launches Homeowner Website

In a joint effort, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched a new ""Website"":http://www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov on Thursday for troubled homeowners seeking information about the administration's Making Home Affordable loan modification and refinancing program.
The online resource, ""MakingHomeAffordable.gov"":http://www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov, offers interactive self-assessment tools for borrowers to determine their eligibility and calculate the monthly mortgage payment reductions they could realize under the government's program. The site is an effective tool that lenders and servicers can point distressed homeowners to in order to learn more about the criteria and benefits of the new Making Home Affordable program.
First announced by President Barack Obama in February, Making Home Affordable is expected to offer assistance to as many as 7 to 9 million homeowners making a ""good-faith effort"" to meet their mortgage payment obligations, while helping to prevent the destructive impact of the housing crisis on families and communities.
Speaking about the new site for troubled homeowners, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said, ""Education and outreach is central to the success of our Making Home Affordable program. Putting resources and tools directly in the hands of homeowners will expedite the process of delivering relief to responsible borrowers, and stabilizing the housing market is central to our overall economic recovery.""
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan added, ""The tools offered on this site will help American families access the help they need even faster. Communicating how this program works and who is eligible to those who need it is critical to the program's success, and this website does just that.""
Since releasing the guidelines to enable servicers to begin modifications of eligible mortgages under Making Home Affordable on March 4th, representatives from Treasury, HUD, and other members of the inter-agency task force have conducted briefings and training sessions for mortgage loan servicers and investors, nonprofit housing counselors, and nationwide borrower advocacy groups. Through these efforts to arm those interacting directly with borrowers with information, inter-agency representatives say they have briefed more than 2,500 participants on the administration's plans in the last two weeks.
According to the Treasury Department, a wide array of large banks to small lenders have already agreed to participate in Making Home Affordable, and servicers have undertaken steps to proactively engage borrowers and respond to their inquiries related to the new program.
As an example, the Department points to JP Morgan Chase, which has put several special tools into place and initiated proactive solicitations to eligible borrowers around the Making Home Affordable program, including their own online site to provide program details and allow borrowers to download a new financial information package. The bank has also increased staffing for a dedicated service center that provides home retention assistance to all its borrowers, including those from Washington Mutual and EMC, which Chase acquired last year. In addition, Chase has entered into a partnership with Fannie Mae to solicit over 125,000 borrowers eligible for the government program and has also begun petitioning an additional 180,000 non-GSE eligible borrowers.
Government officials said with efforts like these from banks already in motion, the administration is now accelerating efforts to communicate directly with borrowers about the Making Home Affordable program, including today's launch of ""MakingHomeAffordable.gov"":http://www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov. Features of the new Website include:
- Self assessment tools to allow borrowers to determine if they are eligible for the program
- A calculator feature that allows homeowners to estimate the reduction to their monthly mortgage payment that they might stand to realize under the plan
- Resources to find free, HUD-approved counseling services for borrowers who have additional questions
- A checklist to ensure homeowners collect all the documents they need before calling their servicers

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

Check Also

Fannie Mae Appoints Chetlur S. Ragavan to Its Board

Bringing decades of risk management and financial services experience to the role, the Risk Response, LLC Founder and Principal joins the GSE as the newest member of its Board of Directors.