Sunday, March 1, 2009

Phoenix Arizona Housing Market - Help for Homeowners

As you are surely aware, the housing market in Arizona is not in the best of shape. The economy is on very shaky ground. What does this mean for you if you are a homeowner and can't afford your monthly mortgage? Here is some information that may help relieve some of your stress.

Arizona has been hit extremely hard with foreclosures in the past year. In fact, only two other states had a higher rate. President Obama recently signed a bill into law that will prevent many people from losing their homes. This stimulus package will help millions of people avoid foreclosure and keep their homes.

There are many questions homeowners have. Here is some information that will help explain things if you fear you are on the verge of foreclosure:

What help is available if I am at risk of foreclosure because I am behind, or struggling to make my payments?

The Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan offers to help you if your are already behind on your monthly payments or are having a difficult time making your current payments. By providing incentives to mortgage lenders, the Treasury hopes to get these lenders to modify already existing first mortgages, so that your monthly payments will be reduced.

If you are an Arizona homeowner, how do you know if you qualify for a payment reduction under this plan?

Generally, you may qualify for a reduced mortgage if (a) the home you live in is your primary residence; (b) your monthly payment is in excess of 31% of your monthly gross income; and (c) your mortgage loan is not big enough to go over current Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limits. Your financial situation will help determine whether you are eligible, which will be reviewed by your mortgage lender. If the lender that holds the mortgage on your home doesn’t seem willing to participate, don’t hesitate to call another lender. Detailed guidelines will be available on March 4, 2009.

You may wonder about other homes you own in the Phoenix Arizona area. If you own rental homes or vacation properties that are not your primary residence, the mortgages on these homes are not eligible under this plan.

On the other hand, if you own a duplex with 2 to 4 units and you live in one of the units, all of the other units are eligible for reduced mortgage payments. If you don't live in one of the units, the duplex is not eligible.

There is much more information in this plan such as eligibility if you owe more than your home is worth, and if you have more than one mortgage. Your Arizona real estate agent can supply you with lenders names that can help you with these questions, and determine what is best for you.

If the current housing market and foreclosure has you worried, learn more about the plan. Arizona is a wonderful place to live, and you may not have to suffer financial difficulty to keep the house you call home.

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