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New Report on HAMP Confirms That Program Has Helped Very Few Homeowners

September 6, 2010

As Temecula loan modification attorneys, we have believed for quite a while that the federal loan modification program is not working due to its lack of a strong enforcement provision. So we weren't surprised to see a San Diego Union-Tribune article from Aug. 31 on the latest numbers from the Home Affordable Modification Program, released by the Treasury Department. As in other areas, those numbers in San Diego County as not good; 6,500 homeowners in the county, and 422,000 in the entire nation, have received permanent loan modifications. The national number is slightly more than a tenth of the total number of homeowners the Treasury Department believes are eligible for the modifications. The number of borrowers involved in trial modifications, which are the first step toward permanent ones, has dropped by 63 percent across the U.S.

The article offered several perspectives on the problems with HAMP. The Treasury Department report noted that "insufficient documentation" was the most common reason for canceling a loan modification among HAMP participants. The head of a nonprofit homeowners' advocacy group said this is frequently a problem because lenders lose paperwork repeatedly, or fail to take action before the information becomes too old to be useful. He said one borrower he helped had to resubmit paperwork 15 times over eight months. That person said the banks are probably overwhelmed, but a loan officer quoted in the article said it seemed like some lenders are intentionally "screwing up." A Bank of America spokeswoman said that, in addition to the high volume of calls the bank must handle, changes to the HAMP guidelines have slowed down the process.

Our Dana Point loan modification lawyers do not think much of these claims. As we have noted here repeatedly, lenders do not seem to have trouble organizing themselves well enough to handle other parts of their business. It's only in the loan workout department that they seem to be incompetent. In addition, the lenders have had well over a year to get organized, along with a high unemployment rate that guarantees access to available workers. We are more inclined to believe the mortgage broker quoted in the article, who points out that many mortgage servicers have no incentive to help, because they make a lot of money from delinquent loans. Similarly, we believe lenders and loan servicers keep borrowers hanging on because this allows them to keep a foreclosure off their books. Then, when the borrowers' resources are drained, the modification is denied and the property goes into foreclosure.

At Howard Law PC, we believe lenders and loan servicers can and should do better. We represent Californians who are fighting for a fair loan modification, but have encountered so much indifference, incompetence or trickery from their lenders that they know they need help. We're proud to say that we've been able to help numerous homeowners get real help from their lenders -- answers and permanent changes to monthly mortgage payments that they can afford. We attribute part of this success to the fact that we are Cypress loan modification attorneys, which tells lenders that we understand our clients' rights and are willing to sue when those rights are being violated. In fact, a lawsuit is sometimes the best solution when the original loan was made under predatory circumstances, or when the lender's gross negligence has put you at the brink of an avoidable foreclosure.

Howard Law offers free, confidential case evaluations, so you risk nothing by speaking to us about your case and your legal rights. To learn more, contact us through the Internet or call toll-free at 1-800-872-5925.