Government Unveils Hope For Homeowners (H4H) Program


Detailed Program Eligibility Requirements Announced

WASHINGTON – The Bush Administration today (10/1) unveiled additional mortgage assistance for homeowners at risk of foreclosure. The HOPE for Homeowners program will refinance mortgages for borrowers who are having difficulty making their payments, but can afford a new loan insured by HUD’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

“For families struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments, this program will be another resource to refinance into a loan they can afford,” said HUD Secretary Steve Preston. “FHA remains a safe and affordable alternative to the high-priced mortgage loans that threaten homeowners’ ability to retain their homes. We strongly encourage borrowers to work with their lenders to determine if HOPE for Homeowners is the right program for them.”

The HOPE for Homeowners program was authorized by the Economic and Housing Recovery Act of 2008. Since the President signed this vital legislation into law on July 30, 2008, the HOPE for Homeowners Board of Directors has worked diligently to develop and implement the program as directed by Congress. The Board was charged with establishing underwriting standards to ensure borrowers, after any write-down in principal, have a reasonable ability to repay their new FHA-insured mortgage.

The HOPE for Homeowners program begins today and ends September 30, 2011. The program is available only to owner occupants and will offer 30-year fixed rate mortgages – so the borrower’s last payment will be the same as the first payment. In many cases, to avoid what would be an even costlier foreclosure, banks will have to write down the existing mortgage to 90 percent of the new appraised value of the home.

Borrower Eligibility

Borrowers are encouraged to contact their lender to determine eligibility, but may be eligible if, among other factors:

The home is their primary residence, and they have no ownership interest in any other residential property, such as second homes.

Their existing mortgage was originated on or before January 1, 2008, and they have made at least six payments.

They are not able to pay their existing mortgage without help.

As of March 2008, their total monthly mortgage payments due were more than 31 percent of their gross monthly income.

They certify they have not been convicted of fraud in the past 10 years, intentionally defaulted on debts, and did not knowingly or willingly provide material false information to obtain their existing mortgage(s).

How the HOPE for Homeowners Program Works

“HOPE for Homeowners will add to HUD’s existing efforts to make FHA refinancing available to homeowners who need it most,” said FHA Commissioner Brian D. Montgomery. “One year ago, FHA expanded refinancing into its FHASecure program. Since that time, we have helped more than 360,000 families keep their homes by refinancing with FHA, and we will assist a total of 500,000 families by the end of this year.”

The Board expects that the primary way homeowners will participate in the program is by working with their current lender. HOPE for Homeowners will serve as another loss mitigation tool available to distressed borrowers.

HOPE for Homeowners also includes the following provisions:

The loan amount may not exceed a maximum of $550,440.

The new mortgage will be no more than 90 percent of the new appraised value including any financed Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium.

The Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium is 3 percent and the Annual Mortgage Insurance Premium is 1.5 percent.

The holders of existing mortgage liens must waive all prepayment penalties and late payment fees.

The existing first mortgage must accept the proceeds of the HOPE for Homeowners loan as full settlement of all outstanding indebtedness.

Existing subordinate lenders must release their outstanding mortgage liens.

Standard FHA policy regarding closing costs applies, and they may be:

Financed into the new loan provided the value of the mortgage (including the Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium) does not exceed 90 percent of the new appraised value of the home.

Paid from the borrowers’ own assets.

Paid by the servicing lender or third party (e.g., federal, state, or local program).

Paid by the originating lender through premium pricing.

The borrower must agree to share with FHA both the equity created at the beginning of this new mortgage and any future appreciation in the value of the home.

The borrower cannot take out a second mortgage for the first five years of the loan, except under certain circumstances for emergency repairs.

The lender will disclose to the homeowner the benefits of the program including home retention, a new affordable mortgage based on the current appraised value, and 10 percent equity. The lender will also explain the prohibition against new junior liens against the property unless directly related to property maintenance, and a minimum of 50 percent equity and appreciation sharing with the Federal government.

The costs to the homeowner include the upfront and annual insurance premiums, as well as a share of the equity created by the write-down associated with the HOPE for Homeowners mortgage and any future appreciation in the value of the home. At settlement, subordinate lien holders will receive a certificate that evidences their interest as an obligation backed by HUD, with payment conditional on the value of HUD’s appreciation share.

If the home is sold or refinanced, the homeowner will share the equity with FHA on a sliding scale ranging from a 100 percent FHA share after the first year to a minimum of 50 percent after five years. The lien holder that previously held the highest priority will receive payment up to a proportion of its original interest, not to exceed the amount of available appreciation. This type of delayed payoff will take place until all prior lien holders are satisfied or the amount of available appreciation is exhausted. All remaining appreciation is remitted to FHA.

The HOPE for Homeowners Board of Directors includes HUD Secretary Steve Preston, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, and FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair. They have named the following people to serve on the board as their designees: FHA Commissioner and Chairman of the Board Brian Montgomery, Federal Reserve Board Governor Elizabeth Duke, Treasury Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy Phillip Swagel, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Director Tom Curry.

Read more about HOPE for Homeowners at


65 thoughts on “Government Unveils Hope For Homeowners (H4H) Program


  2. Pedro,

    I think so, yes. There’s no language that says otherwise here. However you should check with a lender. ahem. Lenders, can you help Pedro out with a quick word of advice?

  3. I have contacted my lender and another lender. Neither will proceed with this program. what are we supposed to do? If the President and Congress approved this bill then we should have access to lenders. The response I received was the loans do not have a place to be parked (no one wants to buy them) cause they are afraid the Govt. will not buy them from the lenders. HELP FOR AMERICANS!!

  4. The foreclosure/sale date on my house is 11/21. We had a buyer but she’s going to walk because the short-sale application has not yet been approved. When I contacted the lender they said it’s going to take another 30-60 days due to some missing paperwork that my real estate agent failed to provide and that the stupid fax machine failed to send completely. I don’t have 30-60 days! My family and I already moved out of the house because we knew we couldn’t afford to live there anymore. How is this program supposed to help me now? Where is OUR hope? My lender said that they were going to contact those eligible for the program beginning 12/01. TOO LATE. Help is TOO LATE!!! What about the families whose homes foreclosed LAST year, or BEFORE September 2008? TOO LATE!!!

  5. So I just received news from my HUD counselor that the state is shutting down their program, because they have no funds. As of Oct. 27th they will no longer be assisting families in need during this housing crisis. WHAT’S THAT ABOUT? The government is offering this H4H help but then they’re cutting out our resources? I’m baffled!
    Here’s a contradicting quote for you:
    “Hope for Homeowners will add to HUD’s existing efforts to make FHA refinancing available to homeowners who need it most,” said FHA Commisioner Brian D. Montgomery.
    Well, hate to break it you but HUD’s existing efforts might not be existing any longer.

  6. Wells Fargo is participating the H4H program. I spoke to them yesterday and they said they are now starting to send out letters (to select clients) inviting them to participate in the program.

    Hopefully Country’s proactive Home Retention program (check their website front page) will spur other lends to do the same and proactively reach out to homeowners in need.

  7. You know…. if they would just reduce the interrest rate I think we would be in better shape. 7 percent is rediculous for any home owner. 3 percent will at least help to put food on the table each month.

  8. J – Do you have any specific information regarding Wells Fargo and the H4H program? A phone number would be greatly appreciated. I called them several times within the last few days and nobody can tell me if they are in the program or plan to be in the program.

  9. I am in the same situation. HSBC is my lender . And everytime I call them they tell me they are not ready for it, or not trained for it. and they “in a way are not aware of it, and that I should call them every two weeks for an update” . In other words, either they are just stalling as it seems they might not earn from this option/program, or that they really in a blur /doubt about this govt/FHA program. I am wary though to apply with “newly-approved FHA lenders for the H4H, as I do not know if they will be qualified enough and if my lender will cooperate with them. This all boils down to having a lawyer negotiator to arbitrate your cause.and this will prove to be very costly.

  10. The program will not be available for funding until January of next year. Even if you are approved for the program your lender does not have to participate. They will be required to discount your payoff to 85% of the current market value of your home. H4H is an expansion of the current FHA guidelines. You must income qualify for the program by those standards. You may also discover that if your credit score has dropped below 580 that your new HAH loan may not be fundable.My firm did a great deal of work with FHA secure this year which expires at the end of 2008. The H4H program is the FHAsecure replacement for 2009

  11. Wells Fargo H4H info: 877-216-8448. Good luck; I just called it and got the impression they are not enthused about qualifying people for this program. I was shut down pretty quickly and had to keep asking direct questions to get information on it.

  12. Thanks for the input,David.

    I called them (HSBC) today and was frankly told that the bank is not participating in the H4H program and referred me to the List of Participating Lenders thru the FHA (HUD) website. I called at least 6 of these , and I got either of these responses: “Presently there are no guidelines yet and to call again, or no bank has as of yet participated in the program”. I found this quite strange knowing that this scheme has been out for more than a month now. Anyway after surfing the internet, I came across Lend America, which I immediately called. A very amiable rep answered me and said that they are much into it and started getting all the necessary info from me which seemed to be following the guidelines of the H4H and told me that I definitely am eligible, and that he would start negotiating with my bank and that he would get back to me soonest by phone and definitely by mail. That gave me a bit of encouragement for my upside down mortgage which monthly payment I have been religiously maintaining up to now. Kindly inform me as what to expect in a scenario like this? Get a good faith estimate? ask for closing cost? or not to expect at all for the meantime? Any input from anybody? Thanks a lot.

  13. I have been hearing similar responses that mortgage companies and servicers are hesitant to buy new loans so its difficult for a mortgage company to negotiate with another company. I have yet to hear or read of any closings under this program. However, Wells Fargo / ASC appears to be accommodating their existing clients. They have a HOPE department set up and take incoming calls. They stated the program takes 60 days to complete the review. Additionally, they mentioned that they review the client to see if they qualify for a modification loan that may include lowering interest and so forth, however as a last resort they consider the HOPE program for those eligible clients. I have applied and submitted all required information and am waiting for a status. They postponed my sheriff sale date by a month to allow more time for review.

  14. I have HSBC as my lender too and have kept my account in good standing for several years.
    However, I am really upside down with my mortgage due to the steep drop in the home market values.

    I have called HSBC several times regarding H4H and each person I have talked to gave me a different answer.
    Some tell me that they do participate in H4H and then transferred me to an “expert” who turns out knows nothing about H4H.
    Some of the people told me up front that HSBC currently does not participate in H4H.

    H4H sounded good on the surface. But since banks are not required to participate, the program will only be as effective as the level of participation of the big banks.

    Even if we attempt to refinance with a lender that participates in H4H, HSBC will not release the existing mortgage with the reduced loan. So the new lender cannot buy it from them.

    It seems the major banks are more willing to see the mortgages die in their banks rather than try to keep them alive by taking a slight loss.

  15. I would call HSBC back and ask them when are they going to participate in the H4H. If they do not know. They I would try and get approved by FHA and see is a Loan Modification Company will work on your behalf to negotiation the settlement.

  16. Your agent can request a extension of the sale. As long as there is a offer on the house they generally will hold off on the sale.

    Malissa, you would not believe how difficult it can be to get the correct powers that be on the telephone

  17. It’s like, phone call gets call center in Florida who are not equipped for this phone call, send to California if you get someone with a brain, send to another place in California, “Oh, was she expecting you?” send to the person you really need to talk to. That person give you her direct line. You find out that a piece of information you faxed was never received. A fax number is given. The fax number actually goes to Florida, and the process repeats ….

    I hear that lenders are streamlining this process. But seriously? People who are out of work should be sending resumes toward these lenders. There is an entire sub-industry that needs to be created.

  18. Thanks for the Wells Fargo 877-216-8448, I just applied for the H4H program. You just have to provide some pay stubs, expenses & a hardship letter to begin the process. In my case the new home is valued at half the original purchase price & can’t even refinance my fixed arm with the negative equity at any reasonable payment. For a 30 yr. fixed, reasonable payments & 1/2 the property taxes especially in California is big. I am willing to give up half of any future equity when/if I sell, because 1/2 is better than nothing at all & the savings now is a good thing.

  19. This is a follow-up on my H4H quest. The Lend America account guy named Robert asked from me a lot of stuff required supposedly by HSBC, to assess if I am eligible. The list was a requirement demanded by HSBC. I sent them a hardship letter indicating why am nearing default if still current,finance disclosure(expenses and income) sort of a balance sheet, 2 yrs ITR, latest pay stubs, proof of other expenses, bank statements, and I was told they would likeky run my credit score. I am still waiting for a response and I was told that the process can take anywhere from 30-45 days at the minimum. Now the logical question is – is it not the FHA approved lender (Lend America, in my case)that is supposed to evaluate my H4H eligibility and not HSBC(my primary lender) ?

    I just wish that we have guidelines that we can sort of follow so that we are not at a loss as to what to expect from these banks? HSBC is supposed to participate and transfer the loan for modification following the H4H program to my new lender, is it not?

    Any new input?

  20. Dear Distressed,
    just wanted to let you know that there may still be hope for you. If you do not want to loose your home you can contact Acorn Housing and their foreclosure prevention team may be able to help you. You should contact them ASAP they may be able to stop the sale date.
    the website is http://WWW.ACORNHOUSING.ORG.
    Best of Luck

  21. HSBC has been stalling the negotiation with my FHA lender (Lend America)re: my H4H loan eligibility in spite of several attempts. I am almost in agreement with Johnny Upside down that HSBC would rather let the mortgage die than sell it to a new lender at a reduced price of the original loan. If they (HSBC) are not participating, they should at least cooperate with the new bank that is willing to handle the H4H program.

    I wonder if anybody has had any success at all with program like this or is this really an on-going uncertainty as the on-and-off-again gov’t bail-out?

  22. I also have HSBC, I was asking them for a modification due to medical reasons. I jumped thru their hoops. I invited Project Hope along to supervise the whole ordeal, and cooperated with them.

    I found out yes they do modify subprime rate loans(9.85% up one point every 6 months capped @ 12.85%). Their terms are as follows. Modification is only good for 6 months, at a lowered fix rate (5.25%)payment of current loan. Here is their definition restructuring if you are in arrears and have made 2 payments with in 30 days they will take the (X) amount of default and put it on the end of the loan and call it a restructure.

    If at the end of 6 months you are still having financial difficulties they will revisit that same hoop you jumped thru to extend the terms for another 6 months or longer.

    They will not send you any documents to sign. They just send you the new terms for 6 months.

    Now if you get NACA involved. they extend the terms automatically for 2 years. then the hoops come out again ect… if your in good with health job ect.. reverts to the subprime note that was signed the lowest rate that was entered (9.85) will be your new fixed rate.

    This is HSBC in a nutshell. It doesn’t surprise me that they will not participate in the H4H. Unless they are required to by LAW to release their stranglehold of enslavement. The only break I see is a neck or two.

  23. ok so im very confused the last remark i read on here was that wells fargo did a H4H program. I just got off the phone with them and no they do not so they are telling me. they are doing a hope now program under their own company. the process for that is to submit a hardship letter, pay stubs and a list of monthly expenses. I received the letter for the hope now program went and sent in the info and was denied. they are rude and are not helpful whats so ever basically telling me i need to put the house up for quick sale. does anyone know if you can call another lender to qualify for the real H4H program that is a participating lender?? I need help

  24. Dear Tess,

    I do not know if you have followed the thread so far. My bank(HSBC)has started to “cooperate” with the FHA lender I found, /referred to me by my old mortgage broker. It is called “Lend America”, one of the largest primary lenders in the nation and it seems they are so adept in the H4H program, afer having gone thru an H4H in-service taining. I tried the other HUD- listed FHA lenders and I was so disappointed. Try this bank. The number is 1-877-851-9377. There is no harm in trying. They will require you to do a hardship letter, get all the ITR, pay stubs, balance sheets (income and expenses) etc, and all you can do is hope and pray that your bank gets to cooperate with them and that you are eligible to qualify in the H4H program guidelines/requirements ( So do review the guidelines, if you can qualify).

    I am still waiting, but I was informed that the process is now on-going. At least there is one lender that seems to be working on my papers. Good luck.

  25. Where do you folks live, if you don’t mind my asking? Froi? Tess? Susie? Ken? Distressed? Confused? Grammy?

    Not to pry. We don’t need specific details. It just paints a better picture for everyone who reads. Thanks.

  26. Just another update to our H4H thread. Approved changes to the program were made yesterday by the HUD, hoping to attract / help more distressed home owners and persuade the lenders to cooperate/ and reduce the costs as well thru the ff: Increasing the LTV and adjusting the Debt-to-income ratio; immediate payments to subordinate lienholders, and possibly extending loan terms from 30 to 40 yrs in some cases, where needed.

    These changes might help the program to be more successful. So I remain optimistic.

    To fluj, I live in LA county , CA.

  27. Thank you for your concern, I appreciate it. My house goes up for auction tommorrow. We couldn’t postpone the date even with an offer.

  28. I’m a housing counselor at a non-profit and we get calls hourly about this program. The lenders don’t know anything about it and come to us, we don’t know enough about it and direct people to the FHA, the FHA tells people to contact their lender…it’s a never ending, confusing circle. It baffles me that only 100 applications have been submitted. I personally have talked to 100 people in the past 2 weeks that have wanted to apply but DON’T KNOW HOW. Herein lies the problem of the program…BE MORE SPECIFIC. Spell it out for people exactly how to apply. Which brings me to another point: has anyone even participated in the program??? Or is it just a farce?

  29. I had to laugh at if this program is a farce because yes in deed it does seem like it is but i will have to say yes i do know someone my mom did and her lender was a participant in this program took her information and in a matter of 15min..thats right folks 15min had an answer and her new payment. they dropped her down 2% on her interest and revamped what she owed on her own based on the going prices in the neighborhood, her payment dropped 490 dollars a month. we are just the unlucky ones who do not have a lender that is participating in this program so we will be the ones who lose our homes because of our current lender.

    tess from Michigan

  30. they never had funds, because there are no lenders willing to lend to this program.This was told to me by one of the mortgage companies on the h4h website.Yet another lie told by our GOV!

  31. Tess,
    I too live in Michigan. What lender participates? My mortgage is through Country Wide which was just bought out by Bank of America. In addition, my husband HAD his own business for 5 years and in August we had to shut our doors and file bankruptsy. For a while, we had NO income at all. Now I have gone back to work and he is working in Texas for little more than 15 an hour! This from owning his own successful construction business. Needless to say we have been struggling to pay our 1500 a month mortgage on our 275,000 house that is now worth about 150,000. Its pitiful!

  32. Melissa,
    Im so sorry to hear of your situation I know how hard times are right now and how just surviving is difficult. Im currently going through a divorce in which he refuses to pay any child support or daycare costs which is why i am in the current situation. You mentioned your under country wide and well from what i hear that is for sure on your side. if you go to their website it explain how they are now participating on the hope for homeowners program. You should give them a call and pled your case and see what they can do for you..sounds like you might have a fighting chance.

  33. One of the key components that most people don’t realize is that most companies, like HSBC and Wells Fargo, don’t own the majority of the loans that they service. Instead, they service loans on behalf of underlying secondary market investors like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or other financial institutions. These investors generally require that a loan be reviewed for any other potential workout solution before hope for homeowner’s is even considered. If no other option is available, then the loan is reviewed to determine if it meets the FHA guidelines for hope for homeowners. if it does, the ultimate investor of the loan determines if it will agree to write down the prinicpal balance to attain the required loan to value ratio per the hope criteria. As you can see, there are many components that factor into qualifying a loan for hope for homeowners.

  34. I am working with a lender who is negotiating on my behalf with HSBC. I initially asked him to get a modification on my loan, but he thought he could succeed asking for a principal reduction. After collecting the required documents HSBC needs, they approved my principal reduction, aka a short refinance. However, an hour before we were to start escrow HSBC reversed course and denied the short refi.

    My negotiator is now working with them to accept the H4H program. The difference between H4H and the short refi is that HSBC (or your current lender) is party to future appreciation based on the H4H contract, which HUD collects and sends back to the original lien holders. This is the incentive for the original lender, as they receive 100% of the appreciation in year 1, decreasing to a minimum of 50% after 5 years. But compared to a short refinance they have a chance to not lose as much.

    I live in California in South Placer County, one of the hardest hit area of this hole mess. My current loan has a balance of naerly $500,000 and an appraisal a few weeks ago was for $280,000 which we feel is high by at least $50,000. HSBC could have originally taken $300,000 for a short refi. But now, if we don’t get the short payoff, we will most likely walk and then HSBC will be looking at maybe being able to sell the house for $250,000, minus realtor fees, minus foreclosure costs. They then would only be able to recover about $160,000 or half of what we and them had agreed to.

    A loan modification by way of a fixed rate for the remainder of the loan would be fine as I I bought a house for nearly $500,000 and can afford a fixed rate payment on that much house. Yes it sucks it has decreased but I did buy it. But when my loan adjusts to nearly 13% and my $3,000 payment goes to nearly $6,000 it’s a bad business decision to make that payment and simply put, I have no reason to stay. My wife has a great job and we can go buy another house, because her credit won’t be shot because she’s not on our current loan. I won’t be able to sign onto a mortgage for 3-5 years, but who cares.

    The mortgage industry is killing themselves because people like me are making business decisions to foreclose, not even out of necesity because they can’t afford their payment, but because they can go buy a bigger house and pay less. Until they start working with us, especially those of us who make great money, this will continue to happen. Those with money who can afford a new loan shold be given it. Even if there is a temporary law allowing over 100% financing for those in adjustables only to be refied into fixed loans. Otherwise, we’re out!

    Sorry this strayed from the H4H and HSBC mayhem too many people are experiencing. For some good H4H info however, check out this site and all the links on it with consumer, lender, and orginal lien holder information such as the break down on who gets paid what after how long after refinancing into H4H and the owner sells…

    Hope this helps…

  35. This is what I think. I think that HSBC would rather have the homes go to foreclosure and get the cash than wait for loan to mature in 30 – 40 years. At the close of the house they get a check from the new loan company.

    I have been trying to work out a reduction in principal for a month with an attorney and have gotten now where. They said that they are not aware of any programs that would reduce the principal. Even after mentioning the H4H program they seem unwilling to help. The attorney even seemed disapponted that he wasn’t get to get anywhere. He said that its really hard to get a straight answere from anyone and they won’t put anything in writing. So far they have been able to offer us a modification for 6 months at a lower interest rate and said that we may qualify for a lower interest rate the 5 years after that. However, even at the lower rate we still can’t afford $2800 payments for the next 5 years.

    I’m heartbroken and very disappointed. We’re totally willing to do the H4H and give up a percentage of future profits on the house, but the liklyhood of finding a new lender to finance us is very unlikly.

  36. I found out today from my attorney that HSBC is unwilling to write off prinicpal balances. They are however, willing to short sale our house from 90% of the appraised value of the house. So if you are able to refiance your loan for 90% of the appraised value of your house than they will release you from the prinicpal balance. I also found out that to do a deed-in-lieu you have to apply and that they have to review all the information before they decide if they will release you from the difisincy balance (the difference between what you owe and what they sell the house for). That really sucks.

    I know that my husband and I will probably not qualify to refiance our loan. Credit really sucks and even if we did the interest rate would put the payments outside of our reach. We’re going to try to the deed route as there seems to be nothing else that will work for us.

    Good luck everyone else. I hope that your situation works out better than ours. I have found this website to be really helpful and very informative.

  37. Okay, so we all know that forclosures hit the credit pretty hard and the short sales not as much, but still affects it. Does this new H4H plan affect credit scores at all?

  38. Well I have been looking into all avenues to help my clients with these loans and situations but it seems the only thing I have been able to accomplish is a loan modification.

    In most cases I have been able to help get these done and at very good rates and terms. Bad thing is they do cost money. You can try to do them directly yourself with your current lender but really do not recieve the same deals I’ve seen accomplished by other people who specialize in modifications. I would much rather do loans than refer to others to do mods but banks would rather alter your loan terms than lower principal.

  39. Dukie21, that’s a good question! Does anyone know if the h4h program affects our credit scores? I heard Bank of American will be coming out with the H4H in January, so be on the look out. The banks are practically sitting on the money now, the assitance programs are considered high risk none of the major banks want to take the loans on. Guess they’d rather we all foreclose! Unemployment is up, so I guess why not homeless rates…
    This website has additional information on how the h4h works and a list of smaller banks that are participating (see link on lower left hand side of webpage)…it may still be difficult to be approvided but for those of us that can not wait until the big banks get on board, there is still some hope! Keep fighting!,7601299&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

  40. Wells Fargo is the most difficult to work with! They are basically saying they are unwilling to do anything else for us, and our only option is short sale or foreclosure. They are so rude, and they never have answers when we call(no offense, but most of them hardly even speak english) they all have attitudes and offer no practical help. None of their departments communicate with one another, so they are all clueless. They DO NO participate in the H4H program. They claim they offer soemthing just as good, but never tell us what?? I doubt it anyways. We have sent in our paperwork to them for the H4H program, to get them to release our mortgage so we can use another mortgage company, which we have already found and they are local and awesome(and speak English) We live in MI, which I think is one of the hardest hit states, especially if the Big 3 go under. Wells Fargo is dragging their feet on even looking over the paperwork that they have to sign in order for us to get the H4H program even going. They have every right to refuse, but I don’t know why they would. It’s either allow us to leave them, and they will get some future equity (per FHA guidelines) or foreclose. Homes aren’t selling, short sales and foreclosures included. It will cost them way more if our house just sits empty for a year, as most have been doing. They are just mad because they are losing so much money. So this program is supposed to help us out, and give us “hope” yet from the sounds of this forum, doesn’t seem that way. The only way it’s going to work is if the gov FORCES these mortgage companies to do it. Why pay on houses that aren’t worth anything! Example, we owe $118k on ours(no equities, just what we owe) house down the street was on the market for $59k and just sold. Ours was on the market for $90k back in the summer, but is now probably valued around $70k if we are lucky. That’s a HUGE difference, and could cut our payment in half. It’s not our fault the housing market dropped, so why are all of us Americans paying for something the Gov should have put a stop to long ago! I’ll try to update once we get an answer from Wells Fargo. Good luck to all!

  41. hi,, maybe if you only spoke Spanish,, you might get somewhere???

    I heard of these “modifiers” that can lower principles? I know its wrong, we should pay what we signed up to pay 450.000 for a home that has depreciated to 230.000
    any way, a question about this h4h,, do they just get paid back the initial amount they knocked down for you,, when you sell?? or exactly half after 30years?? anyway, our fixed only is up in 1 more year, we are struggling. Im confused on this equity share?? my friend said it is only 1/2 of what they knocked down on loan?? but when i read h4h,, its half of ALL equity?? no just the 200.000 they knocked down??

  42. There currently are no investors willing to buy H4H loans. This is the main reason why there aren’t any banks willing to originate them now. The government posted an idea that could virtually end the Housing Crisis and funded the investors with trillions of dollars and they are doing nothing. Why wouldn’t an investor want a loan from a previously bad borrower if originating the loan through FHA guidelines would require them to produce full documentation for income and assets. How ridiculous is that? Besides they are government insured loans AND borrowers have to pay a ridiculously hefty upfront mortgage insurance premium at closing and almost twice the monthly FHA Insurance than that of regular FHA loans.

    Moreover, as for loan modifications these banks and servicers are keeping their terms for modifying loans a trade secret. Its not like originating loans were you are told that people have to meet certain debt ratios and minimum asset requirements. All banks will say is you just don’t qualify, WHY you ask? You just don’t according to our criteria. So what is the criteria? They just can’t say.

  43. Hi, I’m in the same boat as you guys too. I have Indymac as my lender. Does anyone know if Indymac Federal Bank is participating in the H4H program?

  44. I’m just starting out with all this loan mod info, options, and stuff — trying to figure it all out. I did find an interesting option, but I don’t know if it’s ligit or not. I’m trying to check it out thoroughly. Apparently, they collect like $40 million in loans from one lender, then go to negotiate to buy those loans for 25%-50% of value – then they make loans to the clients via another lender. They tell me I would get 15%-25% equity – my new loan would be 75%-85% of current market value, with 8% fixed 30 yr loan with 5 yr option ARM (if I’m saying that right). The fee is $3500, refundable if no action results. They also offer a $1500/mo foreclosure defense/delay during the process, if needed. The interest rate is HIGH, but the equity is immediate and not to be split with anyone, as in the H4H. And in our case, 85% of current market value would “erase” $100,000. But I don’t know because they have no guarantee, of course, of being successful, so you could get $3500 back and nothing done after 3 to 6 or up to 12 months. Anyway, I’m still just gathering info, weighing options. Whew! Lots of reading, but everyone’s comments in places like this is very helpful too! The program above is at

  45. I ‘ve been trying to modify my loan with B of A for the last 4 months. I bought my home in December of 2006. My first and second mortgage amounts to $380k approximately, and my home is worth $200k. I have run into financial difficulty over the past year and have had to drain all of my savings to keep us afloat. I am 3 months behind on payments, and I call the bank 2-3 times a week asking to speak with someone. I feel I have done everything I can to work with the bank, yet after 4 plus months I have not spoken to one person that can give me a status. any suggestions?

  46. Is there anyone out there who has gotten approved for the H4H through Lend America ? Anyone???
    My application has been there since Dec. 3rd… and nothing,zip, no call from the attorney as I was told and I also have to jump through hoops to get a call back from the loan guy handling my p/work.

  47. Layla,

    I have had no luck at all with any of this govt help. Apparently it is there, but nobody at the bank (wells fargo) appears to know what to do. I ended up foreclosing and taking the hit. Good luck!

  48. Thanks Tim. Got nothing to lose right now, bank had to buy my house back because no one bought it at the auction.Still live here. Lend America said they can still help me so I was checking to see If I’m alone on this one.

  49. Wells Fargo says that they are NOT offering this program. If the program is federal how can they say & do this? What recourses do I have?

  50. Hi frustrated,

    I am curious to see if you’ve made any headway with ASC aka wells fargo and the hope for home owners h4H program. I too have a loan serviced by them but have reach dead end after dead end.

  51. Wells is now my mortgage holder after buying Wachovia who bought World Savings who gave me a pick-a-payment loan each year for the last 5-years. I’m now living in a house that was worth 615K last year at this time, but is only worth 305K now. Wells will not help us. We are not late with any payments, but the mortgage is starting to suck me dry. All I want is a couple point reduction.

  52. I was informed yesterday by a seasoned, knowledgeable DRE licensed agent that only 20 loans have actually been issued under the H4H program to date. All of the thread discussions underscore the heart of the problem: Banks would rather wait and put you through their pipeline to see if they can come out with a house that sells for something to someone else, rather than participate in a program that allows hard-working, good citizens to stay in the homes they scraped and scrapped to buy and care for. To the banks, its not about your hardship, your careful selection of paint color and window treatments, the yard where the kids and the pup can play. Not at all. For the banks, its about paperwork, bottom line dollar, and some sort of misguided fear of the H4H program. If just one bank raised its flag and shouted from the mountaintop: We will make the h4h program work for everyone possible! THAT bank would be a new kind of entity, something that would draw and retain clients until the end of time. I have spent 6 months and researched, called, filed paperwork by fax and on-line, interviewed, and basically conducted very serious due diligence to learn what can be done, to save my home, and the home of my friend. In his case, a small modification may give some breathing room, IF HomEq actually responds, but a short sale is suggested. Breaks my heart. My home, there’s probably not much hope, but I will continue to try with Wamu. I am self-employed, and still have some income, but my mortgage is deadly high, value is down 40% and my payments will increase. Behind now by more than three months, and no way to catch up. I don’t qualify for H4H because I am a co-signer on my friend’s loan. I keep half a dozen people employed, and keep food on the table. In the state of CA, that is near impossible. But the banks don’t care, and don’t expect them to.
    BE SURE, if you file paperwork, that you call every three days to check on it. I learned this from experience, and heard it from a hotline specialist. Good luck to everyone, please keep the posts coming. I want to hear from one of the 20 who actually received an H4H loan…

  53. “Grammy” and others:

    I am a Maryland barred attorney who has worked w/ homeowners facing foreclosure. One important thing to remember is that all the Administration’s foreclosure prevention programs (like the Home Affordable Modification, etc.) are STRICTLY VOLUNTARY FOR ALL LENDER EXCEPT FOR GOVERNMENT BACKED LOANS. Here’s what to do:

    FIRST, check to see if you have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan – you will not necessarily know this. In fact, most people do NOT know this because their statements come from a bank/lender and their payments get made out to the same bank/lender who may simply be acting as a “servicer.” You can check by going to the and websites.

    SECOND, if you DO have a Fannie / Freddie loan, the bank taking your payments MUST follow the new guidelines and do a Home Affordable Modification if you qualify.

    THIRD, if you check and it seems you do NOT have a Fannie/Freddie loan, you should contact a non-profit housing counselor to explore other options. In this state, call the MD HOPELINE (free hotline) 877-462-7555 or Alternatively, you may want to contact an attorney who handles these types of cases.

    Please note that non-lawyers handling loan modifications for a fee may be regulated by your state. In Maryland, such outfits cannot collect any upfront fee, may need to be licensed by the Commissioner of Financial Regulation, etc. So use caution.

  54. I found after a recent loan doc audit, that I have three Truth-In-Lending Statements. I signed a 3/27 Loan April, 2006. I discovered the two TIL Statments I took to closing is not the one I signed. I am paying $599,999.95 for a 155,000 Loan. I could sweat the TIL at Closing was blank and they switched the docs on me. I actually have three TIL. I has HSBC, and have notified them of the problem, and requested they go back and correct the mortgage and lower my rate to a fixed at 3% for the remaining balance. Should I take this new knowledge to an Attorney? Does anyone know what recourse I might have?

  55. Hello everyone, thanks for blogging about this subject I hope this information finds you well. I have had great results from the following lenders for Short Refinance. Citi Mortgage, Wells Fargo, Select Portfolio, US Bank, Chase, GMAC, Citadel, and a few others. The process is long and difficult but principle reduction is VERY possible with the right support. We have the only testimonials on a completed Short Refinance. Hope this link helps others and I hope the list helps other agents save homes.
    Take care and GB Rob Saves The OC

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