Get Help if Unemployed

In response to real issues facing so many homeowners and communities, MHA and related programs were also designed to provide relief to those who are unemployed. The objective is to help unemployed homeowners avoid foreclosure.

If you have additional questions about getting mortgage help, contact one of our housing advisors at (888) 995-HOPE (4673). These HUD-approved housing counselors will help you understand your options, design a plan to suit your individual situation, and prepare your application. Research shows that homeowners who work with housing counselors like these are more successful and have better long-term outcomes. There is no cost to you for this valuable, around-the-clock service. Help is available in more than 160 languages.

Home Affordable Unemployment Program (UP)

If you are having a tough time making your mortgage payments because you are unemployed, you may be eligible for UP. UP provides a temporary reduction or suspension of mortgage payments while you seek re-employment.
Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requirements now require servicers to extend the forbearance period for unemployed homeowners to 12 months.


You may be eligible if you meet all of the following:

  • You are unemployed and eligible for unemployment benefits.
  • You occupy the house as your primary residence.
  • You make your request for help before you’ve missed three payments.
  • You have not previously received an UP forbearance or HAMP SM modification.
  • You obtained your mortgage on or before January 1, 2009.

*Eligibility criteria is for guidance only. Contact your mortgage servicer to see if you qualify for UP.

Program Availability

  • More than 100 HAMP-participating servicers are required to offer UP to eligible unemployed homeowners.
  • You may be required to make a partial payment not to exceed 31% of your monthly gross (pre-tax) income including unemployment benefits.
  • You will be evaluated for HAMP at the end of your UP forbearance plan.

UP is not currently available for homeowners with mortgages held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; however, both have their own forbearance arrangements for unemployed homeowners. Please contact your mortgage servicer to see if you are eligible.

Program Dates

Effective Aug. 1, 2010 – Dec. 31, 2012.

Housing Finance Agency Innovation Fund for the Hardest Hit Housing Markets (HHF)

Treasury announced the Hardest Hit Fund SM early in 2010 providing more than $7.6 billion in targeted aid to states hit hard by the economic crisis. State housing finance agencies developed innovative programs to stabilize the local housing markets and help families avoid foreclosure. The Hardest Hit Fund programs complement the Making Home Affordable © Program but are not limited to homeowners eligible for Making Home Affordable.

Hardest Hit Fund programs vary state to state, but may include the following:

  • Mortgage payment assistance for unemployed or underemployed homeowners
  • Principal reduction to help homeowners get into more affordable mortgages
  • Funding to eliminate homeowners’ second lien loans
  • Help for homeowners who are transitioning out of their homes and into more affordable places of residence.

In total, $7.6 billion has been allocated to 18 states plus the District of Columbia. If you live in one of these states or DC, contact your housing finance agency’s program office:

For more information, visit Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund page or contact your state housing finance agency.