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New Federal Data Shows Sharp Increase in Permanent Loan Modifications

February 22, 2010

Federal statistics on loan modifications under the Home Affordable Modification Program have not been encouraging. So our Rancho Cucamonga loan modification lawyers were pleased to see a sharp increase in temporary modifications made permanent in the Treasury Department numbers released Feb. 17. According to the Feb. 18 Los Angeles Times, lenders stepped up in January, increasing the number of permanently modified loans from 66,465 at the end of December to 116,297 at the end of January. Another 76,482 modifications were approved and waiting for acceptance by the borrower, the report said.

HAMP was announced about a year ago as the Obama administration's attempt to slow foreclosures and help the housing market recover. However, the program has come under intense fire in the past year as a "failure," because very few modifications have been done compared to the estimated 3.4 million mortgages eligible. The program's slowness has attracted criticism of the participating lenders as well as the government and, to a lesser extent, borrowers who don't follow instructions well. The January numbers say 28% of eligible homeowners have now entered the program through all participating lenders. At Bank of America, the nation's largest loan servicer, that number was 22%, up from 15% in December and 12% in November. And HousingWire reported that California has the most active HAMP loans, trial and permanent, in the U.S.

This is good news for our clients. As Corona loan modification attorneys, however, we'd like to know what role public relations played in the sharp upswing in loan modifications. We wrote in December about a meeting the federal government called with participating lenders, in which it reportedly chastised them for their very low rate of conversions as of November. Treasury officials also planned to require more frequent updates from participating lenders and even fine those that don't respond fast enough. We suspect these actions had a strong effect on January's loan conversion numbers. As with other aspects of HAMP, we believe lenders simply declined to take serious action to prevent foreclosures until the government "shamed" them publicly or added teeth to the program.

Howard Law PC has represented homeowners seeking loan modifications throughout the housing crisis. We've helped our clients negotiate with lenders since the beginning, so we understand this process very well. In many cases, our clients don't come to us until after they've been frustrated by months of failed attempts to get a loan workout on their own. We're happy to say we're able to help in many cases, and we believe that's at least partly because we are Yorba Linda loan modification attorneys. We don't always end up filing lawsuits against lenders, but we can and will when we find evidence of illegal or negligent behavior. Banks know that, and it may inspire them to find and process our clients' applications more quickly.

If you're trying to stay in your home, but you're struggling with red tape and seeming incompetence from your lender, Howard Law can help. To learn more and tell us your story, please contact us through the Internet or call 1-800-872-5925 for a free consultation.