Housing Assistance: An Inventory of Fiscal Year 2010 Programs, Tax Expenditures, and Other Activities

U.S. Government Accountability Office

HOPE for Homeowners

Administering Agency/Entity Department of Housing and Urban Development
Short Description Voluntary program to help borrowers having difficulty paying their mortgages to refinance with Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages they can afford. Existing first lien holders "write down" the size of the mortgage to a maximum of 96.5 percent of the home's new appraised value. Borrowers then will be able to hold and pay down a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with payments at or below 38 percent of their monthly income. Existing subordinate lien holders must be willing to "write off" subordinate mortgages in their entirety. To be eligible for HOPE for Homeowners assistance, borrowers must meet certain criteria (cannot afford their current home loans; have mortgage debt-to-income ratios of at least 31 percent; and have not intentionally defaulted on any substantial debt) and their mortgages must have originated on or before January 1, 2008.
Primary Purpose Emergency assistance to housing market or current homeowner
Type of Housing Supported Homeownership
Type of Assistance Insured loan
Fiscal Year 2010 Obligations $3,000,000; obligations represent the expected credit subsidy costs for loan commitments made in fiscal year 2010. These estimates are revised in subsequent years and the ultimate cost will not be known until the loans have matured.

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