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marcia-a-jacobowitz-smallPresident Obama recently extended the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), for an additional two years. HAMP was due to expire at the end of this year.

The program, designed to help an estimated 3-4 million homeowners avoid foreclosure, has only benefited approximately 1.1 million people. HAMP assists homeowners in order to rework or “workout” the repayment of the terms of their mortgage. The program, funded by the Treasury Department’s financial bailout fund, pays lenders and servicers to rewrite loan terms for borrowers who can’t make their current mortgage payments. The goal is a permanent mortgage modification which enables homeowners to meet their loan obligations including, in most instances, a lower monthly mortgage payment, which in turn prevents the lose of their home.

The Treasury Department has reported that the housing market has improved, however, many homeowners are still struggling. The Obama administration has refined the program since its inception to broaden its reach, including expanding eligibility and increasing payments to mortgage companies that lower borrowers’ monthly payments. It is the hope that more homeowners will take part in the program and lower the number of foreclosures allowing homeowers to keep their homes.

If you are having trouble making your mortgage payments and think you might be eligible for this program, you should speak to a qualified real estate attorney.

Marcia A. Jacobowitz is an associate on the the firm’s Business and Real Estate Teams, but her practice also includes equine issues, land use development and municipal law. She can be reached by phone at 845-778-2121 toll free or 845-778-2121 and by email.

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