Starting June 1, military homeowners who are permanently displaced by a job-related move may still be able to be considered owner-occupants when applying for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
This change means more military members could become eligible for the government’s modification program to assist struggling homeowners by reducing monthly mortgage payments.
The update was jointly announced in an online post Thursday by Tim Massad, Treasury assistant secretary and Holly Petraeus, assistant director for Servicemember Affairs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
According to the announcement, borrowers may now qualify if they are displaced due to an out-of-area job transfer (such as Permanent Change of Station orders), intend to return to the home at some point in the future, and do not own any other single-family real estate.
HOPE NOW, the voluntary, private sector alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, mortgage insurers and non-profit counselors, applauded the initiative in a statement.
“The issue of Permanent Change of Station creates a unique set of circumstances for military homeowners who are required to move to a new location. Recognizing many of these homeowners as owner-occupants allows them to qualify for a HAMP modification and creates a mortgage option that was not available before under the current rules,” said Faith Schwartz, executive director of HOPE NOW.