An Overview of the Flex Mortgage Refinance Program

Oct 11, 2022 By Susan Kelly

As a homeowner, your mortgage is likely one of your most significant monthly expenses. When money is tight, and bills pile up, it's natural to feel hopeless and panicked. Fortunately, a loan modification can help you get back on track with your lender and save you from losing your house. The Flex Improvement Program is one of the most important.

What Is The Flexible Modification Program?

Federal National Mortgage Association and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, usually referred to as Fannie Mae, respectively, are two government-sponsored organizations that back many mortgages.

Loans provided by approved lenders are purchased and guaranteed by such agencies. Loans held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are eligible for the Flex Modification Program, according to Jennifer Harder, CEO and founder of Jennifer Harder Mortgage Brokers.

Acceptability of Flex Changes

"Anyone experiencing issues paying their mortgage can apply for this program as long as they match the qualifications," stated Paul Sundin, CPA, tax consultant, and CEO of Emparion, in an email to The Balance.

The primary criterion is that Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac owns the loan. Borrowers must have had their current loan for at least a year before filing for a loan modification, and it must be a traditional first mortgage.

Sundin emphasized the importance of the applicant having a consistent income and showing that they can make monthly payments. He also noted that other criteria might be necessary, which would change from lender to lender.

A trial modification period is implemented if the borrower satisfies all the criteria. Once the final capitalized amounts are determined, the monthly mortgage payments will be adjusted permanently if all goes according to plan.

Flexibility Programs: Their Various Flavors

There are variants of the standard Flex Modification for homeowners going through extraordinary circumstances. Using the "Streamlined" review procedure, the following table details these variations in eligibility.

Change Request Form Instructions

Checking if Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac owns your loan is the first step in determining your eligibility for the Flex Modification Program. This can be completed electronically. Get in touch with your loan servicer to find out what comes next.

According to Harder, "the requirements for securing this kind of modification are lengthy and difficult." To determine if you meet the requirements, talk to your servicer.

Please be aware that when a borrower falls 90 to 105 days behind on payments, servicers will automatically send a trial plan offer based on the information they already have on file. A lender may provide a trial plan even if you don't take advantage of the original offer and may do so up to the time of foreclosure.

What Is The Required Debt-To-Income Ratio For Flex Modification?

Banks and other financial institutions typically set a maximum DTI ratio when underwriting mortgages. Lenders use DTI objectives rather than strict restrictions regarding mortgage modification programs.

Fannie Mae, for instance, recommends a maximum of a 40% debt ratio between housing costs and monthly income for borrowers fewer than 90 days past due on their loans. However, this is not a prerequisite for participation in the program.

Is A Credit Score Needed For A Flex Modification loan?

The Flex Loan Modification Program accepts applicants regardless of credit history. Credit scores are believed to be relatively low as it is intended for mortgage borrowers who are behind on payments and at risk of defaulting.

The plan is to lower monthly payments and get them back on track financially so they can keep their houses. It's crucial to remember that lenders typically report mortgage modifications to credit agencies, which can hurt your score.

What Is The Procedure For Attempting To Modify A Mortgage Loan?

Contact your lender immediately if you have problems making your mortgage payments to explore alternatives, including a repayment plan, forbearance, or a loan modification.

Loss mitigation applications assess qualification for loan modification and require you to disclose information about your current financial status. You should still submit a new modification request even if you were previously refused since your situation may have changed since then.

The Verdict

Borrowers who qualify for the Flex Modification program and are having trouble paying their mortgage payments may be eligible for financial assistance. The program's viability for you will rely on several factors, including the identity of your mortgage's current owner and your present financial standing. Even if you don't meet the criteria, you should still contact your lender to find out if any other support is available.

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