Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: Nov 21, 2011

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The government’s incentive-packed Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is sought by many of the country’s underwater homeowners. On top of the incentives, modifications through HAMP do not require service fees and do not require a homeowner to pay past-due late fees. If your loan is a government sponsored mortgage—those guaranteed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae—then your lender is required to participate in the HAMP program.


While only your loan servicer can tell you whether you’re eligible for a HAMP home loan modification, there are a few qualifications you must meet before even considering the program:

  1. You must own and occupy a one-to-four unit home. A one-to-four unit home refers to property that consists of one to four connected parts. A typical house or apartment is a one unit home. A duplex is a two-unit home. A triplex is a three unit, and a fourplex is a four-unit home.
  2. You must have unpaid principal balance equal to or less than:
    • $729,750 for a one-unit home
    • $934,200 for a two-unit home
    • $1,129,250 for a three-unit home
    • $1,403,400 for a four-unit home
  3. Your first lien mortgage must have been originated on or before January 1, 2009.
  4. Your total monthly mortgage payment, including taxes, insurance and homeowners association fees, must be greater than 31 percent of your monthly gross income.
  5. You must be undergoing some kind of documentable financial hardship that is making your home loan payment unaffordable.

You must meet all of these qualifications in order to be considered for a HAMP modification.