By Alan Zibel, AP Real Estate Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Friday announced a major reworking of its troubled $75 billion plan to prevent foreclosures. The revamped program is now designed to aid jobless homeowners and people who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.
Here's a look at the details:
Q. How many homeowners will this help?
A. The effort is designed to enable the government to reach its original goal of helping 3 million to 4 million homeowners avoid foreclosure by the end of 2012. That benchmark has so far proved impossible to approach. Only 170,000 homeowners have completed loan modifications, out of 1.1 million who began the government's Home Affordable Modification Program since it started last year.
Q. How many borrowers are in trouble?
A. About 6 million homeowners have missed at least two months of payments. And experts warn that 10 million to 12 million borrowers are in danger of foreclosure over the next three years. A growing risk is among homeowners who are "under water": They owe more on their loans than their homes are worth.
Q. How does the new plan work?
A. Borrowers will get help in three ways: Jobless homeowners can get a three-to-six-month break on their mortgage payments. Banks will get financial incentives to reduce mortgage balances for under-water borrowers. And lenders can offer refinanced loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration to these borrowers.
Q. When will all these programs be available?
A. Government officials didn't specify but said they should become available in the coming months.