New Home Affordable Modification Program (“HAMP”) Loan Modification Guidelines Taking Effect June 1, 2010
The federal government provided new HAMP borrower outreach and communication guidelines for foreclosure actions while a borrower is being evaluated under HAMP. Furthermore, these guidelines provide additional protection for delinquent borrowers who have filed bankruptcy but would otherwise be eligible for HAMP benefits. For a copy of the full disclosure, see Supplemental Directive 10-02.
Here are some of the key highlights from the directive include:
Additional Foreclosure steps are required:
• The servicer must evaluate the borrower’s eligibility under HAMP and determine that the borrower is ineligible before referring the borrower to foreclosure (or make “reasonable solicitation efforts”).
• If foreclosure activity has already been initiated, the foreclosure sale cannot occur until after the servicer has determined the borrower is ineligible under HAMP (or make “reasonable solicitation efforts”).
• The servicer must give the borrower 30 days to respond to HAMP “Non-Approval Notices” in certain circumstances before conducting the foreclosure sale.
• The servicer must provide the foreclosure attorney certification in writing that the borrower is ineligible for HAMP before conducting the foreclosure sale.
BANKRUPTCY• If the borrower in active Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy (or attorney or bankruptcy trustee) requests, the servicer MUST consider the borrower under HAMP and can no longer decline borrower as a “proper exercise of discretion.”
• If the borrower has been approved on a trial loan modification and files a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, the servicer MAY NOT deny the borrower for a permanent modification only because of filing bankruptcy.
• If a delinquent borrower has a discharged Chapter 7 and chose not to reaffirm the first lien mortgage debt is still eligible under HAMP, with the following provision added to the permanent modification agreement: “I was discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding subsequent to the execution of the Loan Documents. Based on this representation, Lender agrees that I will not have personal liability on the debt pursuant to this Agreement.”