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Home Loan Defaults Still Rising Even After Mortgage Loan Modifications, Report Says

April 23, 2009

A report from the federal government shows that mortgage defaults are continuing to rise, even in the face of private and public foreclosure prevention efforts. The Washington Post reported April 4 that the two federal offices responsible for regulating the mortgage industry don't envision much slowdown in the rate of foreclosures in the near future. The Office of Thrift Supervision and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency reported that more homeowners are behind on their loans, and that, for the first time, the number of prime loans that were "seriously delinquent" actually exceeded subprime loans in the last quarter of 2008.

Loan modifications were not much help, according to the study. Among those who got a loan modification early in 2008, the Post said, 57% had missed one payment by the end of the year, and 35% had missed three or more. However, the report also noted that loan modifications did the most good when they lowered payments significantly -- and during the fourth quarter of 2008, 58% of the loan modifications in the study did not result in lower payments.

As Orange County loan modification attorneys, we're not pleased but also not surprised. Judging by the study and our own experience working with distressed homeowners, it's clear that lenders frequently resist efforts to lower payments. In our Southern California loan modification legal practice, we see homeowners who come to us for help after the lender has repeatedly ignored their own efforts to negotiate a change in their loans. It's just common sense that loan modifications are not helpful to people who have trouble paying payments unless they actually lower those payments -- and banks are better off avoiding foreclosure, especially at the moment. But all too often, they sacrifice the homeowner and their own long-term profits for the sake of protecting short-term profits.

If you need a meaningful loan modification and your lender refuses to negotiate, Howard Law LLP can help. Our Chino Hills loan modification lawyers negotiate aggressively with lenders, often using evidence of predatory or unfair lending practices. We can help you negotiate for a lower interest rate; change the length of your loan; or, in some cases, maybe even modify the principal you owe. And we offer free, confidential consultations, so there's no risk in speaking to us about your rights and your case. To set one up, please contact Howard Law today or call us at 1-800-872-5925.