Many homeowners found themselves on the verge of home foreclosure after the recession hit. Fortunately, the number of potential foreclosures has been reduced in Florida, thanks in part to federal programs aimed at helping struggling homeowners obtain loan modifications. These home loan modification programs were set to expire this year, but they have now been extended to the end of 2016.

The programs have helped homeowners obtain more manageable payments. The payments were lowered because homeowners were given the ability to refinance with lower interest rates. This ability was even available to homeowners who had no equity in their homes.

While many took part in the program and kept their homes as a result, many more were eligible but did not apply to receive the federal program’s help. Data compiled at the end of 2014 outlined Florida as the state that had the highest number of mortgages that could benefit from loan modifications under the Home Affordable Refinance Program. To qualify for the program, homeowners must have made on-time payments for the past six months and have been late on no more than one payment in the last 12 months.

For many struggling homeowners, home loan modification programs have allowed them to keep their heads above water financially. However, even for those who qualify, other financial difficulties may make it difficult to stay ahead or keep from losing other assets. In Florida, filing for bankruptcy as a means of halting foreclosure or getting a handle on other debts can be a useful tool. 

Source: durangoherald.com, “Federal programs to help homeowners extended“, Kathy Orton, May 8, 2015