We have encountered many homeowners who are having trouble keeping up with their mortgages. Little know that help is available through the federal government.

The Home Affordable Refinance Program is available to 4 million to 5 million homeowners who have a solid payment history on an existing Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage. Ordinarily, these borrowers would be unable to refinance because their homes have lost value.

Under the Home Affordable Refinance Program, many will now be eligible to refinance their loan to take advantage of lower mortgage rates or to refinance an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) into a fixed-rate loan.

The Home Affordable Modification Program will help another 3 million to 4 million at-risk homeowners avoid foreclosure by reducing monthly mortgage payments. Working with the banking and credit union regulators, the FHA, the VA, the USDA and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Treasury Department has set guidelines that are expected to become industry standards in obtaining affordable mortgage modifications.

For more information, visit FinancialStability.gov.

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