More Options Coming for Underwater Homeowners

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New HARP Guidelines to Provide Relief for More Borrowers Mortgage Assistance Portal Helps Homeowners 24/7

This is an enhanced level of service and help that we’re pleased to provide homeowners.

In response to recent enhancements to the federal Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management, Inc. (Springboard) is advising homeowners that confidential, 24-hour online assistance is available to borrowers wanting to determine if they meet the certain criteria to refinance their underwater home mortgage at today’s low rates. Springboard’s Mortgage Assistance Advisor(SM) is available through, the agency’s web portal that provides consumers with the latest information on homeowner assistance programs, including refinance and loan modification options. is a trusted resource for consumers nationwide. The Mortgage Assistance Advisor(SM) is a virtual tool that may be accessed 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. This service is provided by Springboard – a HUD approved housing counseling agency that has been helping people since 1974. Springboard has helped almost 250,000 homeowners since the financial crisis began in 2007.

“We know that distressed homeowners often don’t know where to turn for the latest information on mortgage payment relief,” said Aaron Horvath, president of, a division of Springboard. “The Mortgage Assistance Advisor is an easy-to-use online service that will guide homeowners to possible options and solutions for them,” said Horvath.

First, either the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) must own the loan. Eligible homeowners can refinance at today’s low rates, even if they are severely underwater. The revitalized program features some recent enhancements designed to revive the program and help underwater mortgage owners take advantage of today’s low mortgage rates to lower their monthly payments.

New program enhancements address several other key aspects of HARP including:

•The program previously only allowed the home to be underwater by 125 percent loan-to-value. That loan-to-value cap has been lifted allowing more homeowners to be eligible;
•You must be current on mortgage payments in the past six months. You can’t have more than one late payment in the past year. Previously, the program didn’t allow any lates in the past year;
•Eliminating certain risk-based fees for borrowers who refinance eligible mortgages into shorter-term mortgages and lowering fees for other borrowers;
•Eliminates the need for new property appraisals where there is a reliable automated valuation model estimate provided Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; and
•Extends the date for HARP until Dec. 31, 2013 for loans originally sold to Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.

Homeowners are encouraged to visit to find out the latest information on home preservation and foreclosure prevention, including recent enhancements to the HARP program. The Mortgage Assistance Advisor(SM) is simple to use. Once the homeowner completes a short questionnaire, the Mortgage Assistance Advisor(SM) will provide a list of potential program solutions. The homeowner will also have the option of speaking directly with a Springboard financial counselor who will answer any question related to specific mortgage relief programs. The counselor will be able to use the data from to navigate and discuss the different options available to the homeowner. If need be, the counselor will engage in a conference call with the homeowner and the mortgage servicer to begin the work-out process.

Here is how it works:

Step 1: Visit and click Mortgage Assistance Advisor(SM)
Step 2: Answer simple questionnaire
Step 3: Mortgage Assistance Advisor (SM) provides list of potential program solutions
Step 4: Complete online Mortgage Assistance Profile
Step 5: Talk with a certified mortgage counselor

“There is no charge to speak with a counselor or to access the online Mortgage Assistance Advisor,” said Horvath. “This is an enhanced level of service and help that we’re pleased to provide homeowners.”

If you not only have an underwater mortgage but also have missed payments, you may qualify for HAMP, the federal Home Affordable Modification Program available through mortgage lenders.

Springboard encourages troubled homeowners who have missed any mortgage payments or are about to, to work with a HUD-approved housing counseling agency. Springboard’s financial counselors are available to help homeowners assess their circumstances, identify options and help prepare them to work with their mortgage company.

About Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management
SPRINGBOARD® Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit personal financial education and counseling organization founded in 1974. Springboard is a HUD-approved housing counseling agency and a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a national organization of nonprofit credit counseling agencies, and a member of the Association of Independent Credit Counseling Agencies. The agency offers personal financial education and assistance with credit counseling, housing counseling, debt and money management through educational programs and confidential counseling. Springboard is accredited by the Council on Accreditation, signifying the highest standards for agency governance, fiscal integrity, counselor certification and service delivery policies. The agency provides pre-bankruptcy counseling and debtor education as mandated by the bankruptcy reform law. The agency offers nationwide phone counseling services and has locations in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas for in-person counseling sessions. Not all types of counseling are available in-person at all locations, please call for details. For more information on Springboard, call 800-449-9818 or visit their web site at


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