There is good news for Orange County homeowners. According to CoreLogic’s latest equity report, only 3.6 percent of Orange County homes with a mortgage were valued less than was owed during the second quarter this year. This new report clearly shows how much progress has been made in the last few years. In 2009, there were over 130,000 underwater homes in Orange County. The September 25 report from the Irvine-based housing tracker shows that only 19,840 Orange County homes are underwater now.
There is hope even for the owners of underwater homes. About 85 percent of the underwater homes have regained equity in the past five years. Some of those homes regained equity because of an increase in the home value. Others, however, saw an increase in equity because they were seized through foreclosure or were sold at a loss.
Even with the improving economy, there are still a number of ways that you could lose your home. For some families, it only takes a serious illness or loss of employment to fall behind on payments. When this happens, it is important to face the problem head-on. Failing to make payments and ignoring statements from your lender will not make the problem go away.
There are options available for Orange County homeowners who wish to keep their property. If you are worried about losing your home, it may be time to consider a loan modification or government housing program:
- HAMP: The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) can help you lower your monthly mortgage payment to 31 percent of your verified monthly gross.
- PRA: Principal Reduction Alternative (PRA) allows homeowners who owe more than the home is worth to reduce the amount they owe.
- 2MP: The Second Lien Modification Program (2MP) allows certain homeowners to modify their second mortgage.
- HARP: The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) can help you refinance into a more stable mortgage.
If you are worried about losing your home, do not hesitate to speak with an Orange County real estate attorney who will review your situation and help you make the best decisions available for you and your family.