In 2009, the Obama administration launched the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), as a proposed “lifeline” for nearly 4 million struggling homeowners. Borrowers were promised much needed loan modifications to help with their financial situation. Unfortunately, a recent report has revealed some disturbing details about the program.
Over the past six years, Special Inspector General Christy L. Romero of the Troubled Asset Relief Program has been closely monitoring HAMP. According to her report, only 887,001 borrowers received loan modifications, which reduced their mortgages. Romero’s report showed that approximately 4 million borrowers’ requests for help were denied, accounting for about 72% of applications submitted since the program began. It appeared that the big banks repeatedly avoided helping borrowers, without regard for their situation.
Unable to work because of her disability, a Vermont woman applied for a mortgage loan modification through Bank of America. The process began in 2012 but dragged on for more than two years as the bank repeatedly requested copies of documents she had already provided. Several errors were made on her file, including the bank’s request for proof that she was no longer married to a man she did not even know, and incorrect information about whether she wanted to keep her property.
Cases like this are all too common, and many believe it is because of the way HAMP was designed. Since the program is voluntary for the banks, it appears the banks have chosen to not help the borrowers who need it the most. The numbers of rejected applicants is a testament to the flaws within the program.
Romero’s report detailed how CitiMortgage, a unit of Citibank, rejected 87% of borrowers who applied for a loan modification. JPMorgan Chase also had a similar denial rate of 84%. Bank of America rejected 80%, while Wells Fargo turned away 60% of applicants. It seems that delaying a borrower’s loan modification request is profitable for the banks, leading to more interest and fees being charged to the borrower.
According to Ms. Romero, the Treasury was supposed to ensure that the banks involved in the program were not wrongfully rejecting homeowners for a modification. Unfortunately, this appears to be exactly what has been happening. Fortunately, in the Vermont woman’s case, she was able to finally receive her loan modification after seeking help from a qualified and experienced attorney. Still, many homeowners see the government program as false hope since millions of borrowers did not get the help they needed.
Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.