No homeowner should have to deal with losing a home they have worked so hard to buy and maintain. But tragically the worst economic downturn since the Depression has put too many Mainers in this incredibly difficult position. Fortunately, there are a number of resources out there for Mainers having trouble paying their mortgage or facing foreclosure.
You don't have to weather this storm alone--if you need help, please look into the programs below or call my Portland office at (207) 774-5019
Chellie Pingree, Member of Congress
The Making Home Affordable Program includes opportunities to modify or refinance your mortgage to make your monthly payments more affordable. It also includes the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program for homeowners who are interested in a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. The program's website also contains a useful checklist of key documents and materials to have ready when making that important call to your servicer as well as frequently asked question from borrowers in similar circumstances; and much more. You can find more information online at www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov.
A HUD-approved housing counselor can play an important role if you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments and may be facing foreclosure, by helping you assess your financial situation and offer specific suggestions on what you should do--free of charge. Check here for updates.
The state’s housing authority assists Maine people to obtain and maintain decent, safe, affordable housing and services suitable to their unique housing needs. Find information here on talking to your lender, housing counselors, rescue scams, a foreclosure timeline, and additional resources. Visit www.mainehousing.org or call them at (207) 626-4600 or toll-free at 1-800-452-4668.
The Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection is another good source of information. Visit their website or contact their Foreclosure Prevention Hotline for free advice and assistance at 1-888-664-2569.
A new Maine law entitles anyone served with foreclosure papers the right to request mediation, but you must take certain steps to protect your rights. More information can be found here or by calling the Maine Foreclosure Prevention Hotline at 1-888-664-2569.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks. The OCC has a number of resources for consumers and community groups to help them preserve their homeownership, avoid foreclosure, and protect themselves against foreclosure and debt elimination scams. You can find them online, where you can also file a complaint against your lender.
The Federal Housing Authority is starting a program to permit lenders to give borrowers refinanced loans backed by the government. Lenders will be required to forgive at least 10 percent of the original mortgage amount. The program is aimed at homeowners who owe more than their home is worth. Find out more here.