Under the Making Home Affordable act, the Obama Administration directed lenders to begin modifying home loans for homeowners whose payments exceeded 31 percent of their gross annual income. Mortgage lenders can modify the loans in a number of ways, including lowering the interest rate on a temporary basis to 2 percent, or extending the loan term, or cutting the principal balance of the loan. While very few lenders are cutting the principal balance, many are extending the loan term or lowering the interest rate to get homeowners to the place where they are paying just 31 percent of their gross monthly income toward their mortgage, homeowners’ insurance and real estate property taxes. Find out more about the Making Home Affordable program, and whether you might qualify for a loan modification, at www.makinghomeaffordable.gov. If you need help with your loan, you’ll want to call the Homeowners for HOPE hotline at 888-995-HOPE. The HUD housing counselors at the other end of the line can h