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Home Affordable Modification Program

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BUSINESS
August 5, 2016 | By Alan J. Heavens, REAL ESTATE WRITER
Begun as the government's response to the foreclosure crisis, the Treasury Department's Home Affordable Modification Program wasn't supposed to last forever. The Dec. 31 end of the foreclosure relief program, which offered a more affordable payment by adjusting interest rates, extending the loan term, and reducing or forbearing principal, will leave a gap that the government is trying to fill. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, is proposing consumer protection principles to guide mortgage servicers, investors, government housing agencies, and policy makers as they develop foreclosure-relief solutions to replace what is better known by its acronym, HAMP.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2011 | By Jim Abrams, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - House Republicans pushed through legislation Tuesday to terminate an underachieving Obama administration program designed to reduce mortgage payments for homeowners in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. Most Democrats, while acknowledging that the Home Affordable Modification Program had fallen short of original goals, protested the vote to kill it. The White House, in a statement, said that if the bill ever reaches President Obama's desk, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto it. The House vote was 252-170.
BUSINESS
June 10, 2011 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
The Obama administration said Thursday that it was withholding financial incentives from three home-loan servicers needing to substantially improve their performances in the government's mortgage-modification program. The three are Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, according to the Treasury Department, which oversees the Home Affordable Modification Program. Treasury's review of first-quarter performance by lenders that participate in the voluntary program also cited Ocwen Financial as needing substantial improvement.
BUSINESS
March 29, 2013 | By Clea Benson, Bloomberg News
Seriously delinquent borrowers with mortgages owned or backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be able to reduce their monthly payments without documenting their finances, under a program introduced by the companies' regulator. The move announced Wednesday by the Federal Housing Finance Agency is designed to stem losses to the U.S.-owned firms by letting borrowers at least 90 days behind on their mortgages bypass the administrative hurdles of typical loan modifications. Homeowners may still give their lenders documents on financial hardships, and can save more money by doing so, the agency said.
BUSINESS
September 10, 2009 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
More than a half-million homeowners have been offered a chance to modify their mortgages to lower interest rates since February's launch of Obama administration efforts to reduce foreclosures nationwide. Yet in testimony yesterday before a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee, Assistant Treasury Secretary Michael Barr indicated that the Home Affordable Modification Program, though more successful than previous steps, still had problems. A continuing issue, Barr said, is the failure of some of the 45 loan servicers in voluntary compliance with the program to convert offers of trial modification into the real thing.
NEWS
March 27, 2010 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Criticized for its "ready, fire, aim" approach to reducing foreclosures through voluntary mortgage modification, the Obama administration announced plans yesterday to more actively help homeowners who are unemployed or owe more than their houses are worth. Under the rules that previously governed the Home Affordable Modification Program, unemployed homeowners could not qualify for mortgage assistance. As outlined by the Treasury Department, the "enhancements," to be funded by $50 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, include these changes: Instead of lowering interest rates or extending loan maturities, or both, to reduce monthly mortgage payments to 31 percent of household income, lenders would gradually lower the principal if homeowners remained current on their payments.
BUSINESS
February 18, 2010 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Relatively few troubled borrowers are having their mortgage payments permanently reduced under the Obama administration's year-old Home Affordable Modification Program, data for January released yesterday by the Treasury Department show. Of the 1.3 million "trial" modifications started under the program since February 2009, just 116,000 have been made permanent. Still, the number of permanent modifications has increased substantially since December, when just 65,000 were reported.
BUSINESS
September 11, 2009 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Foreclosure filings in August dipped less than 1 percent from July but were 18 percent above August 2008 numbers, RealtyTrac of Irvine, Calif., reported yesterday. As has been the case for most of the three-year-old housing downturn, most of the filings - 60 percent of the total - were in Florida, California, Nevada, Arizona, and the upper Midwest. Pennsylvania and New Jersey had filing increases, though both states remained below the national average. Pennsylvania's foreclosure rate was one in every 950 houses; New Jersey's was one in every 421. The U.S. rate was one in 357. No. 1 Nevada's rate was one in every 62 houses.
NEWS
September 28, 2009
LAST WEEK, the Congressional Oversight Panel held a hearing here in Philadelphia on how well a new federal program is working to slow down the rate of foreclosures. The answer: not so much. According to the testimony, and to observations offered by the panel, the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) has real problems. HAMP provides financial incentives to lenders to work out mortgages, but while there have been nearly 400,000 trial modifications to date, those testifying on behalf of homeowners say there are enough problems with the program that they will be unable to handle the nine million foreclosures projected to come over the next three years.
BUSINESS
March 12, 2010 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
February witnessed the lowest year-over-year increase in foreclosure filings since January 2006, RealtyTrac Inc., of Irvine, Calif., reported yesterday. Filings also fell 2 percent from January, RealtyTrac said. Two major snowstorms that struck the Northeast in the first two weeks of February might have contributed to the monthly drop as well as the small year-over-year increase. "Severe winter weather appears to have temporarily slowed the processing of foreclosure records in some Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states," said James J. Saccacio, RealtyTrac chief executive officer.
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BUSINESS
August 5, 2016 | By Alan J. Heavens, REAL ESTATE WRITER
Begun as the government's response to the foreclosure crisis, the Treasury Department's Home Affordable Modification Program wasn't supposed to last forever. The Dec. 31 end of the foreclosure relief program, which offered a more affordable payment by adjusting interest rates, extending the loan term, and reducing or forbearing principal, will leave a gap that the government is trying to fill. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, is proposing consumer protection principles to guide mortgage servicers, investors, government housing agencies, and policy makers as they develop foreclosure-relief solutions to replace what is better known by its acronym, HAMP.
BUSINESS
March 29, 2013 | By Clea Benson, Bloomberg News
Seriously delinquent borrowers with mortgages owned or backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be able to reduce their monthly payments without documenting their finances, under a program introduced by the companies' regulator. The move announced Wednesday by the Federal Housing Finance Agency is designed to stem losses to the U.S.-owned firms by letting borrowers at least 90 days behind on their mortgages bypass the administrative hurdles of typical loan modifications. Homeowners may still give their lenders documents on financial hardships, and can save more money by doing so, the agency said.
BUSINESS
March 11, 2013 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Columnist
Like millions of other Americans, Jack Bleiman has struggled since the air sputtered from the housing bubble and blew the economy into a deep ditch in 2008. Like millions of others, he saw a lifeline in the mortgage modification programs created by the Obama administration in response to the historic rates of foreclosure that resulted. And like far too many of those millions, Bleiman has seen his hopes unfulfilled - at least so far. Last fall, Bank of America blew through a 30-day deadline for saying yes or no to his application for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)
NEWS
January 29, 2013
ALFREDA WILLIAMS has been on the front lines for a long time, shepherding through some tough battles. Williams is a senior foreclosure counselor for HomeFree-USA, one of many agencies approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help people save their homes if possible. She has seen the ugly side of the expensive and predatory mortgages that helped create the housing crash we've been trying to recover from for several years. "The hardest thing for me is working with the older clients who have owned their homes for years," Williams said.
REAL_ESTATE
September 24, 2012 | By Al Heavens, Inquirer Columnist
I'm not sure why an academic would be reading my column online at 3 a.m. on a Sunday, but that was the time stamped on Tomasz Piskorski's Sept. 9 e-mail. Piskorski is the Edward S. Gordon Associate Professor of Real Estate at Columbia Business School, so housing concerns must keep him up at night, too. The column dealt with the hit-or-miss - mostly miss - quality of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), the Obama administration's disappointing approach to reducing foreclosures.
BUSINESS
September 9, 2012 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Columnist
If Lisa Fiorilli were a contestant on Let's Make a Deal , Bank of America's latest offer might have made a little more sense to her. Behind curtain 1 would be a mortgage-loan modification - with few details beyond what it will cost to claim it: $1,513 a month for the next three months. Pay the first installment by Thursday, the bank says, or lose out. And behind curtains 2 and 3? Maybe the mortgage modification she thought she was getting last year, under the federal Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)
REAL_ESTATE
September 9, 2012 | By Al Heavens, Inquirer Columnist
Mention of HAMP, which stands for Home Affordable Modification Program, brings in a flood of e-mail and telephone calls. These correspondents fall into three categories: Struggling homeowners who failed in the effort to get their loans modified, after many attempts and many months. Those who have never heard of HAMP and want information on how to apply. Readers who pay their mortgages each month and cannot fathom why they have to support those who do not. HAMP and its counterpart, the Home Affordable Refinancing Program (HARP)
BUSINESS
July 16, 2012 | Jeff Gelles
It might make financial sense for Lisa Fiorilli to just walk away from her home in Manayunk — a tidy, three-story rowhouse on one of the neighborhood's familiar, hilly streets that rise up from Main Street and the canal. But Fiorilli, facing foreclosure after a two-year bureaucratic tangle with Bank of America over a mortgage modification, would rather stay and fight — even if her home is now worth less, as she says bank officials have suggested, than what she owes on it. Fiorilli's saga — backed up by a thick file of documents and call logs — is a story of a mortgage accommodation dangled and apparently snatched away for flimsy reasons, such as a phone payment that came in 35 cents short, and another payment that came in two weeks early.
NEWS
March 4, 2012 | By Kevin Smith, Inquirer Staff Writer
Sally Spencer walked into the John F. Kennedy Center in Willingboro hoping for a miracle. The single mother of two works full time and cares for her 16-year-old autistic son, Salvatore. Her monthly income is $1,400, but her mortgage is $1,700. "I'm underwater," she said, waiting for a private meeting with an officer from HSBC, her lender. Spencer, 44, refinanced the mortgage on her home in Lindenwold in 2006 because she needed money to bury her mother, who had died from breast cancer.
REAL_ESTATE
October 9, 2011 | By Al Heavens, Inquirer Columnist
I hear these things from any number of readers regularly, but foreclosure lawyer Bruce Shaw seems to articulate them better than most. He asks: What's more difficult to win than the Powerball lottery? Answer: A mortgage modification. Shaw, who practices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, said he had just finished his fourth conference for a home-loan modification with a mortgage company, a process that has spanned eight months. "Of course, nothing was settled," he said.
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