This morning Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that the deadline to apply for federal Making Home Affordable (MHA)  programs designed to assist struggling homeowners will be extended another two years, to December 31, 2015.

MHA Program Extensions

The extension will apply to all of the MHA programs. Some of those include:

  • Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)
  • Second Lien Modification Program (2MP)
  • Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2)
  • Principal Reduction Alternative (PRA)
  • Home Affordable Unemployment Program (UP)
  • Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA)

(To learn about these programs, visit Nolo’s Government Foreclosure Prevention Programs topic area.)

The department was emphatic, however, that these extensions should not lull homeowners into waiting to apply for relief. The government urged eligible homeowners to apply for these programs right away.

Extension of Tax Relief for Forgiven Mortgage Debt Is Top Legislative Priority

Mark McArdle, Chief of Treasury’s Homeownership Preservation Office also made clear that a top legislative priority this year will be to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act to December 31, 2015, so that it matches the MFA program deadlines.

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act allows  homeowners who have had mortgage debt forgiven or canceled (perhaps through a mortgage modification or restructure) or who have suffered through a foreclosure to have income tax on that debt forgiven.  The Act currently currently sunsets (ends) on December 31, 2013. (To learn more, see Canceled Mortgage Debt: What Happens at Tax Time?)