The HOPE NOW Unemployment Committee collaborated with the Obama Administration to develop a new tool to help identify the eligibility of unemployed homeowners to for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). The US Treasury Department allocates capped incentives to servicers participating in HAMP to modify loans on the verge of foreclosure. Servicers lower the debt-to-income ratio of a qualified borrower to 31% with a HAMP modification. With the new tool, homeowners with nine months of unemployment benefits may use their unemployment income in determining HAMP qualification, according to a statement from Faith Schwartz, executive director of HOPE NOW, the private sector alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, insurers and non-profit counselors.. The web-based unemployment verification tool informs mortgage companies, housing counselors and homeowners of the correct amount of unemployment income and the duration of the payments. “This is a highly useful tool for all parties as it really streamlines the process for unemployed borrowers to a faster resolution,” Schwartz said. Write to Jon Prior.