HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program) expired on December 31, 2016. But, if you missed the deadline to apply for HAMP, don’t despair. Fannie Mae has rolled out the new Flex Modification program in the hope that more homeowners will avoid foreclosure and will be able to remain in their homes.

The new Flex Modification combines the features HAMP, Standard Modification and Streamlined Modification. The process is expected to be easier and it is hoped it will help more borrowers qualify for a loan modification and avoid foreclosure.

According to Fannie Mae, “The program will offer additional payment relief allowing forbearance of principal to an 80% mark-to-market loan-to-value ratio for eligible borrowers.” This principal forbearance may not exceed 30% of the unpaid principal balance. The Flex Modification is designed to help borrowers in all stages of repayment. For borrowers that are less than 90 days delinquent, Flex Modification can reduce the payment by 20%. For borrowers that are more than 90 days delinquent, the program can reduce the payment by 20% and does not require borrower documentation.

Loan servicers have been provided with the qualification requirements and are updating their systems. The first Flex Modifications may be submitted by the mortgage lenders as early as March 1, 2017. Additionally, all mortgage servicers must send a letter describing this program to borrowers no later than October 1, 2017.

The bankruptcy lawyers attorneys of Seymour and Associates, P.C. have completed a Mortgage Modification Mediation Training program and can assist borrowers with modifications. Seymour & Associates offers a free consultation to borrowers seeking a loan modification. With so many great options for saving homes available to borrowers today, it is highly likely that more and more homeowners will be able to remain in their homes in 2017.