Resources for Servicers and Community-Based Practitioners on Loan Modification, Refinance, and Foreclosure Avoidance Programs
The U.S. Department of the Treasury's (Treasury Department) Office of Financial Stability manages several programs designed to assist mortgage borrowers who are struggling, including the Making Home Affordable (MHA) program and the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF).
Making Home Affordable (MHA)
The MHA program is a comprehensive plan implemented by the Treasury Department to stabilize the U.S. housing market by helping homeowners get mortgage relief and avoid foreclosure. In March 2009, the Obama administration published detailed program guidelines for MHA. This effort involved the development and refinement of servicer guidelines, modification documents, and data collection and modeling tools.
The MHA Handbook is a consolidated reference guide that outlines the requirements and general guidelines applicable under MHA programs. To assist mortgage servicers, key documents and tools required to service Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) loan modifications are provided on HMPadmin. As new program updates are announced, the servicer documents and tools required to administer those programs are developed and added to this site to allow for a one-stop experience for mortgage servicers.
The MHA program includes a variety of loan modification, foreclosure avoidance, refinance, and assistance programs, which are described in detail on the MHA.
Hardest Hit Funds (HHF)
First announced in February 2010, the HHF provided $7.6 billion in mortgage assistance to the 18 hardest hit states, plus the District of Columbia. These states have developed locally-tailored programs to assist struggling homeowners. HHF programs are designed and administered by each state’s Housing Finance Agency (HFA) to help unemployed and underemployed individuals by providing temporary mortgage payment assistance, forbearance assistance, second mortgage assistance, principal reduction, and other types of mortgage assistance. Although some states have already used their entire HHF allocation, the remaining state HFAs have until the end of 2017 to use their HHF funds.
Private and Community-Based Resources
HOPE LoanPort (HLP)
HLP is a communication and processing platform dedicated to providing homeowners with a neutral assistance options for loan modifications. The use of HLP is free for authorized U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved nonprofit housing counselors working on behalf of homeowners.
HOPE NOW is an alliance between counselors, servicers, investors, and other mortgage market participants. The alliance's objectives are to maximize outreach efforts to homeowners in distress to help them stay in their homes and to create a unified, coordinated plan to reach and help as many homeowners as possible.
This online guide to foreclosure prevention and neighborhood stabilization was developed and is maintained by the Center for Housing Policy, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and the Urban Institute.
“Foreclosure Prevention: Improving Contact With Borrowers” (PDF)
This Insights report highlights best practices loan servicers are using to improve their contact rate with delinquent mortgage borrowers.
“Homeownership: Preserving the American Dream” (PDF)
This Community Developments Investments newsletter focuses on a number of ways banks can help to reduce foreclosures through partnering with nonprofits and successfully implementing early intervention strategies with troubled borrowers.
Policy, Legal, and Regulatory Resources
OCC and interagency guidance
“Working With Mortgage Borrowers,” 2007-14
This interagency statement encourages financial institutions to work constructively with residential borrowers who are financially unable to make contractual payments on their home loans.
“Statement on Loss Mitigation Strategies for Servicers of Residential Mortgages,” 2007-38 (PDF)
This interagency statement encourages federally regulated institutions and state-supervised entities servicing mortgage loans to pursue strategies to mitigate losses while preserving homeownership to the extent possible and appropriate. The statement also discusses issues related to servicing loans in securitization trusts that are delinquent or in default or are in imminent risk of default.
“Interagency Guidance on Home Equity Lines of Credit Nearing Their End-of-Draw Periods” (PDF)
This document describes principles for how financial institutions should oversee and manage Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) nearing their end-of-draw periods, and establishes consistent, effective responses to assist HELOC borrowers who may be unable to meet contractual obligations.
“Other Real Estate Owned,” Comptroller's Handbook
The Comptroller’s Handbook booklet “Other Real Estate Owned” (PDF) provides guidance for bank examiners and bankers on the acquisition, management, disposition, and accounting of other real estate owned (OREO) held by OCC-regulated institutions. Appendix B describes how mortgage services and trustees should manage foreclosed properties.
Community Reinvestment Act
“Community Reinvestment Act: Interagency Questions and Answers on Community Reinvestment”
The Interagency Questions and Answers on Community Reinvestment provide guidance on how financial institutions can receive consideration under the Community Reinvestment Act for activities related to foreclosure prevention and financial education.
Federal Register Notice Supplementary Interagency “Questions and Answers”
The CRA Supplementary Interagency “Questions and Answers” provide additional guidance regarding activities that qualify for CRA consideration.
The CRA definition of community development has been temporarily amended to include eligible activities under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) at 25 CFR 12(g)(5).
This IRS Web page provides questions and answers on home foreclosure and mortgage debt cancellation.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau information
2013 Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) Mortgage Servicing Final Rules
These regulations address mortgage servicing requirements, including compliance with loss mitigation, notice requirements and timing, foreclosure, and other consumer protections.
2013 Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) Mortgage Servicing Final Rules, Small Entity Compliance Guide
This publication explains the compliance requirements that affect mortgage servicing.
State legislative and regulatory resources
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) provides supportive services for state legislators and staff to improve the quality and effectiveness of state legislatures, promote policy innovation and communication among state legislatures, and ensure state legislatures a strong, cohesive voice in the federal system.
- State legislation regarding foreclosure summaries.
- State bill information services provide access to current state and federal legislation and a comprehensive list of state documents, including state statutes, constitutions, legislative audits, and research reports. This Web site includes information about current legislation, with bill status and other bill information, in the 50 states, Washington, D.C., Congress, and Puerto Rico.