At the end of last month HAMP (The Home Affordable Modification Program) expired and Republican-led Washington has no intention of replacing it. So now it will be up to the private sector to address the lingering issues brought on by the financial crisis.
Banks and mortgage lenders say they are ready to step in with their own foreclosure-prevention programs, modeled on what they learned from the Obama administration’s effort. However, housing advocates are skeptical, as HAMP had its shortcomings. The program fell far short of the administration’s goals.
Specifically, banks and servicers routinely ignored the rules, consistently rejected eligible homeowners, processed applications at a snail’s pace and foreclosed on homeowners even when they made their modified payments on time, according to a series of audit reports for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Approximately 70 percent of those who applied for the loan modifications were turned down. Nearly 14 million homes went into foreclosure, according to ATTOM Data Solutions, which tracks foreclosure filings.
Even though the housing market has stabilized, the rate of delinquencies is at its lowest point since 2007, and home prices have risen in many places, there will always be homeowners and families in trouble because of job loss, illness and other unforeseen setbacks.
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