AARP Finance - NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The Bush administration on Tuesday unveiled a new program to modify mortgages and stabilize the battered real estate market, but the plan stops short of providing direct government financial help to at-risk homeowners.
The plan centres on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which between them own or back about 31 million mortgages worth a combined $5 trillion and were the root cause of the financial situation. The federal government took over the firms in September due to mounting losses on their portfolios of mortgages.
Eligibility is determined by several factors: AARP Homeowners must be 90 days or more late in their mortgage payments, owe at least 90% of their home's current value, live in the home on which the mortgage was taken and have not filed for bankruptcy.
AARP mortgage payments would be adjusted through lower interest rates or longer repayment schedules with the goal of bringing payments below 38% of monthly household income. Interest rates could be lowered for five years and then raised to a predetermined level. Loan terms could be lengthened to 40 years. Some AARP members in the UK could also be getting some good news soon as interest rates fall. A couple of lenders have mortgage rates fixed at points below the current bank rate so if the bank rate is cut again they could end up with a 0% mortgage.