Sam Gendusa August 11, 2016

Newsletter - August 2016

What does it mean for the mortgage industry?

When 2016 comes to a close, so does the lifespan for some of the federal government’s programs created to address the housing crisis, namely the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). With their departure will come a bit of a shake up in the mortgage industry, and the government is beginning to weigh in on this reality to prepare the market for what is to come.

The programs, along with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, significantly reshaped the mortgage industry in the wake of the bursting of the housing bubble, allowing underwater homeowners the opportunity to stay in the homes they purchased, but could no longer afford.

As the industry prepares for life after HAMP and HARP, the government has some guiding principles it thinks can set the industry on the path to success in the days that follow (via a Department of Treasury press release):

Accessibility: Ensuring that there is a simple process in place for homeowners to seek mortgage assistance and that as many homeowners as possible are able to easily obtain the needed and appropriate level of assistance.

Affordability: Providing homeowners with meaningful payment relief that addresses the needs of the homeowner, the servicer and the investor to support long-term performance.

Sustainability: Offering solutions designed to resolve the delinquency and be effective long-term for the homeowner, the servicer and the investor.

Transparency: Ensuring that the process to obtain assistance, and the terms of that assistance, are as clear and understandable as possible to homeowners, and that information about options and their utilization is available to the appropriate parties.

Accountability: Ensuring that there is an appropriate level of oversight of the process to obtain mortgage assistance.

How will the industry respond to the void HAMP and HARP will leave in the marketplace? It’s anyone’s guess, and will surely be a topic that experts will dissect over the next 4 months. The only thing we can be sure of with all this change in the air is that the need to have clear documentation and easily traceable paper trails will be more important than ever.

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