The housing crisis from 2007-2009 really did damage to our economy. The main issue was that big banks were giving out loans that people could not afford to pay, also known as Subprime Loans. As a foreclosure attorney in Miami for over 25 years, I’ve witnessed the consequences that the subprime mortgage crisis created. As you may know, the banks gave out loan after loan without reasonable verification that their borrowers actually qualified for the loans in the first place.
When anybody can get a loan and money is easily accessible, the prices of houses go up. And up. And Up! And Up!! Until finally (2008, to be exact) the housing market’s bubble pops. It pops because homeowners, who never should have gotten their loans in the first place, are all starting to default at once. The economy turns into a giant house of cards, and eventually the wind blows and knocks it over.
Chances are, some of you reading this have been a victim of predatory lending and have a subprime loan. You, or someone you know, may have lost your home in foreclosure, or are in foreclosure right now. The government realized the blunder on the part of big banks and so the Federal Housing Finance Agency set some programs into place to help homeowners recover – HAMP and HARP are two of the most common.
Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), which has already helped nearly 1 million people, allows homeowners to refinance underwater or near underwater mortgages. The Home Affordable Modification Program – commonly referred to as the Obama program – allows eligible homeowners the chance to get a modification on their home mortgage debt. The programs, as well as other big bank settlements, were put into place to help both homeowners.
If you are in foreclosure, it may not be your fault. More importantly, there may be foreclosure help available through some of these government programs. HAMP and HARP have each been out for over 5 years and now – your chance to get help through these programs – is running out. HAMP and HARP will expire in December 2016.
While HAMP and HARP have combined to help over 1 million people, there’s no guarantee that the programs will be available after this year. If you are in foreclosure and would like to know more about foreclosure defense options, contact me today at 305-514-0500 for a free consultation. I will be able to see if you might qualify for foreclosure defense help under the HAMP or HARP program; you may be able to reduce your monthly payment or modify the terms of your mortgage.