Bills.com Offers Education, Eligibility Tool on FHASecure Refinance Program

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Program can assist some of the 2 million subprime homeowners at risk for foreclosure.

Bills.com, a free online consumer portal that offers personal finance connections and education at http://www.Bills.com, has compiled new tools to help consumers understand the FHASecure mortgage reform program -- and their eligibility.

"Following months of mortgage-bailout speculation, President Bush implemented FHASecure last September. Now, Congress is increasingly pressured to better regulate the mortgage industry and, perhaps, bail out homeowners with untenable loans," said Andrew Housser, co-founder and co-CEO of Bills.com. "The changing and evolving plans to assist homeowners can be confusing at best."

Bush's FHASecure plan enhanced the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) refinancing program to assist Americans who have variable-rate mortgage loans that have reset to a higher interest rate. It extended refinancing options to families who were in default on their mortgages, but only if they previously had good credit and had been up to date on mortgage payments.

Bills.com offers a quick, easy-to-use program, FHASecure Check, to help homeowners determine if they are likely candidates for FHASecure.

Determining eligibility for the refinance program can be challenging, says Housser, given the extensive criteria set by the FHA. But with Bills.com's FHA Secure Check program, homeowners can complete a simple form (http://www.bills.com/fhasecure) and receive an immediate assessment of their likely eligibility, along with refinancing quotes from mortgage lenders, banks and brokers in Bills.com's lender network.

As of last year, up to 7.5 million subprime mortgages were outstanding; more than 2 million of them will be at risk for foreclosure as rates adjust. FHA's Web site states that more than 40,000 homeowners have refinanced under the FHASecure program.

Understanding FHASecure

Housser's firm, Bills.com, wants homeowners to understand some of the key points of the President's plan.

FHASecure is a refinancing option that gives credit-worthy homeowners, who were making timely mortgage payments before their loans reset but are now in default, a chance to refinance into a new FHA insured mortgage. In order to qualify, homeowners must:

  • Hold a non-FHA insured adjustable-rate mortgage that has reset.
  • Generate sufficient income to make the new mortgage payment.
  • Have a history of on-time payments before the loan reset.

In addition, the new mortgage amount must still conform with FHA's geographical loan limits. About 100,000 to 250,000 loans will qualify for the rate freeze, says Housser.

Based in San Mateo, Calif., Bills.com is a free one-stop online portal where consumers can educate themselves about complex personal finance issues and comparison shop for products and services including credit cards, debt relief assistance, insurance, mortgages and other loans. The company blogs about consumer finance issues at http://www.bills.com/blog. Since 2002, Bills.com has served more than 30,000 customers nationwide while managing more than $500 million in consumer debt. Bills.com is a division of Freedom Financial Network, LLC, whose co-founders and CEOs, Andrew Housser and Brad Stroh, have been named Northern California finalists in Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

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Aimee Bennett
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