There are many families across the country who have purchased homes, and obtained mortgages, only to find that the home values have declined and they now owe more than their house is worth. There are a variety of programs in place that might be able to help such homeowners, including loan modifications, short sale programs, or temporary forbearances.
In addition, military families who are underwater in a home mortgage may find some relief in a temporary provision of the Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP) offered by the Department of Defense. The HAP program was originally designed to help homeowners who found themselves in trouble in areas where housing prices were negatively affected by the Base Realignment and Closures, but the program has been temporarily extended to homeowners who face declining home values and are forced to move due to PCS orders.
Eligibility requirements include:
- Must be active duty military
- Must have PCS orders requiring a move of at least 50 miles
- PCS orders must be dated 1 February 2006 to 30 September 2010
- Must have purchased home prior to 1 July 2006
- Home prices in local area (county/parish/city) must have declined at least 10%
- Individual home price must have declined at least 10%
- Home must be (or have been) primary residence
- Must sell home after 1 July 2006
The complete information can be found at the Homeowners Assistance Website. The link for PCS moves is located on the right hand side of the page.
I would love to hear if anyone has used this program, or tried to use it and been denied. I know that lots of military families are struggling with this problem right now and I hope that this program can help.