The Home Affordable Modification Program ("HAMP") is a 2009 creation of the Obama Administration. The program provides for government payments to participating mortgage loan servicers in exchange for reductions in mortgage payments for eligible borrowers. The point is to reduce mortgage payments to a 31 percent debt-to-income ratio. Participating servicers are required check all mortgages that are more than 60 past due and loans for borrowers who ask for a modification and can represent that they face an imminent risk of default. Once a borrower is introduced into the program, any pending foreclosure must stop. A three-month trial period with a new, lower loan payment begins, often based on only a verbal commitment (although this will require more formal documentation starting in mid 2010). During the trial period, income and other documentation are verified. After the borrower makes three monthly payments, the trial loan is moved to permanent status.
A fact page can be found here: