Officially Open for Business

Lynn Sweet in the Chicago Sun-Times has posted an article that tells us that the Obama administration has developed a website that is designed to help struggling homeowners keep their homes. is a site that provides consumers with a lot of information. As Sweet says in her article “Check out to learn about free mortgage help,” the Office of the Treasury launched the website at midnight last night. I checked out the website. The site breaks into two parts upon arrival. At that point you determine if you are trying to save your house or if you want to refinance. For example, if you are trying to save your property from foreclosure, you will be asked a series of four questions. While the site doesn’t tell you this, if you answer any of the questions “no” you will not be eligible for aid. One question asks you if you own a one-to-four-unit home. Another question asks if you have the properties financed through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. You will b asked whether or not you are current on your house payments. Finally, you are asked if the indebtedness is equal to or less than the money owed on the house. Again, if you answer “no” to any question you will be denied aid. If you are eligible then you are asked to get information on your mortgage; you are asked to get information on your before tax (gross) income. Additionally any credit card debt or student loans will need to be shared with your lender among other things. The same situation applies if you are trying to refinance your mortgage. You will be asked your income; you will be asked if the house is your primary residence; you will be asked if you are having trouble paying your mortgage and if you got it before January 1, 2009. Once again if you must say no to any question you are not eligible for assistance. This is a good program in my opinion especially if you consider the amount of manipulation a lot of these financial firms have been a part of. Years ago a friend of mine who was a bank president, legitimately made some errors. He had mistakenly tried to correct the problem before allowing it to come to life. When it hit the public eye there was a lot of condemnation even though he was actually not guilty of any wrongdoing. This kept the bank from recovering to the size it had enjoyed. The site is a great idea, however, based on its stringent rules it will be interesting to see how many people end up benefiting from the program. References: Officially Open For BusinessThe rules for aid are stringent.