Get back on track to successful Homeownership
If you lost your home to foreclosure or you was force to short sale because you lost your job or some other financial hardship, you may not have to wait the usual 3-years to qualify for homeownership again. A new Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Program shortens the waiting period to 12 months.
The FHA “Back to Work” Program may work for you:
About the Program
Under the new federal program called “Back to Work – Extenuating Circumstances”, if you have had a foreclosure, short sale, deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, or have declared bankruptcy you may qualify for a new home loan if you are back to work and can document the extenuating circumstances.
Do You Qualify?
FHA will consider you for eligibility if you had a financial hardship in the past but can now document the following circumstances about yourself:
- You meet FHA loan requirements
- You can document the mortgage or credit problems resulted from a financial hardship
- You have re-established a responsible credit history
- You have completed HUD-approved housing counseling
A lender will first have to determine if you meet the FHA loan requirements before you can apply for a FHA loan under the Back to Work program. You will need to explain how the financial hardship was something beyond your control that reduced your income or caused you to lose employment. If your household income dropped by 20% or more for at least six months, it may count for this type of financial hardship.
To re-establish credit you must have a 12 month record of on-time rental housing payments with no delinquencies, and not have been 30 days late on more than one non-housing loan payment. If you still have any open collection or judgment accounts, then a “capacity analysis” will be done to see if you can repay those creditors.
How to Get Started
To start an application with a FHA-lender you must first take a “Pre-Purchase Counseling” course with a HUD approved housing counseling agency 30 days before you start the application. A certified counselor will assess your debt, ability to afford the mortgage, features of the mortgage, explain mortgage insurance and the loan application process. First Home Alliance is a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, and can help you make sure you have done everything you need to do to access the “Back to Work–Extenuating Circumstances” program. You will need to complete your counseling at least 30 days before you apply for a new FHA mortgage. Your certificate is valid for 6 months.
Contact First Home Alliance at HELP@FirstHomeAlliance.org or call (703)580-8838.
For more information about Back to Work Program Mortgagee Letter, click here.