HAMP, Home Affordable Modification Program, is the federal government program to help people stay in their homes by modifying their mortgage.
Nearly one in four homeowners in America now owes more on the home than it is worth, according to Ruth Simon and James R. Hagerty in the Wall Street Journal.
This means more foreclosures coming.
Thought the government claims 650,000 borrowers have been helped by HAMP, my fellow consumer attorneys are still searching for someone with a loan modification actually approved after the 3 month trial period.
Reuters says, out of that 650,000, the government can show only 1,711 permanent mortgage modifications.
Even that number is only 20% of the estimated number of homeowners who need help.
And many homeowners have no idea why they were turned down for HAMP.
Over 163,000 of these just started last month after the government sat on the mortgage companies again, to get them to move.
When Treasury Secretary Geithner was asked how many of these included a reduction in the principal balance, he could not answer.
Unsurprisingly, the government is doing a bad job of keeping track of the HAMP program.
Without a reduction in principal balance, a modification is just re-working how you are going to pay back all the money you owe on your mortgage.
Most of thes actually agreed to by mortgage companies are not working, as the borrowers have defaulted again.
The mortgage companies are overwhelmed, being that nearly 7 million households are either already in foreclosure or more than 30 days late.
So they have hired 17,000 more workers to deal with the mortgage modification requests.