NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Struggling to pay your FHA mortgage? Now you no longer have to be late with your payments to get help.
On Friday, the Federal Housing Administration announced that it will assist borrowers before they become delinquent. All you need do is prove your problems were caused by a reduction of income from a job loss, fewer paid hours, slashed wages or a decline in self-employed business earnings.
You may also qualify because of a change in household circumstances, such as a death or disability.
"The FHA has always required lenders to establish early contact with delinquent borrowers to discuss the reason for missing a payment and to evaluate reinstatement options," FHA Commissioner David Stevens said in a prepared statement. "Now servicers will have additional options for those borrowers who seek help before they go delinquent, which increases the likelihood that the borrower will be able to retain their home."
The workouts available include forbearance, in which lenders agree to postpone or reduce payments for a specified period. This does not actually forgive the payments, they are just added to balance later in the mortgage term.
In more severe cases, borrowers may qualify for permanent payment reductions. This may be done by increasing the length of the loan, reducing the interest rate or even forgiving principal -- or a combination of any of the three.
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||4.09%||4.03%|
|15 yr fixed||3.25%||3.18%|
|30 yr refi||4.12%||4.07%|
|15 yr refi||3.29%||3.19%|
Today's featured rates:
Shares of several uranium miners are soaring this year on hopes that Donald Trump will commit more investments to nuclear power. But investors need to get careful. The stocks are as volatile as radioactive elements. More
President Trump issued an executive order rolling back Obamacare. Here's what's next for the health reform law. More
In 1998, Ntsiki Biyela won a scholarship to study wine making. Now she's about to launch her own brand. More
If you're smart about when you first claim Social Security, you can increase your benefits and reap the rewards for the rest of your life. More