Home Affordable Modification Program - Articles

New Warning on Mortgage Mods: Demand for Up-Front Fees Is a Sure Sign of a Scam

The housing market has been slowly recovering for most of the year, but the fact remains that millions of Americans are still underwater when it comes to what they owe on their mortgage versus the value of their home. As such, many may be looking for some relief, and scammers are now preying on that need. In recent weeks,... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Principal Reduction on Freddie Mac Loans?

By Jon Prior Freddie Mac CEO Charles "Ed" Haldeman gave a strong signal Friday that new incentives from the Treasury Department may be enough to start principal reduction on mortgages backed by the government-sponsored enterprises. In January, the Treasury said it would triple incentive payments to mortgage investors who... Continue Reading »

Principal Reduction Better Than Short Sales, Report Says

Here comes another black eye for the Fed's much-maligned mortgage modification program. Housingwire reporter Jon Prior has crunched the numbers and found that the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is most effective when it actually reduces the principal owed on upside-down mortgages, not just extending borrowers'... Continue Reading »

Feds Target Loan Mod Scams, With Google's Cooperation

The federal government has shut down 85 alleged online loan modification scams, and secured the cooperation of Google to stop the purportedly false advertising by those web operations. The government agency responsible for supervising the use of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds recently targeted businesses that... Continue Reading »

Obama's Refinance Plan: Who Will Benefit?

WASHINGTON -- Today's record-low mortgage rates are out of reach for millions of U.S. homeowners who would benefit from them most. One in four homeowners with a mortgage -- 11 million people -- owe more than their home is worth. These "underwater" borrowers have virtually no shot at refinancing. Their plight is a drag on... Continue Reading »

Occupy Wall Street: Housing Stories From the Front Lines

By Stefanos Chen and Teke Wiggin A few blocks away from the youth-led drum circles and costumed theatrics of Zuccotti Park, the epicenter of the Occupy Wall Street protests, some 15,000 activists, labor supporters and all-around rabble-rousers were preparing to march on the canyons of Lower Manhattan. "They just called... Continue Reading »

HAMP Helping Fewer and Fewer Homeowners

WASHINGTON -- For the third consecutive month, the Obama administration's signature housing help plan posted the lowest numbers of preliminary mortgage modifications since the program's start in the spring of 2009. Just 13,000 homeowners received initial mortgage modifications from the Home Affordable Modification Program... Continue Reading »

Linda Hatchell, Woman in $1 Foreclosure, Responds

You may recall the story of Linda Hatchell, a Glen Ellyn, Ill., cancer survivor who is staring down foreclosure on the Victorian home she spent $1 to buy, but tens of thousands more to relocate and lovingly restore. After sharing her story earlier this month, AOL Real Estate was inundated by hundreds of comments, emails... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Modification Program Slows to a Crawl

WASHINGTON -- Fewer homeowners entered preliminary mortgage modifications under the Obama administration's signature foreclosure prevention initiative in June than in any month since April 2009, according to government data released Friday. June saw just 15,000 new trial modifications under the initiative, which the... Continue Reading »

HAMP Foreclosure Aid Program Voted Down by House

HAMP is on life support, thanks to a U.S House of Representatives vote on Tuesday. The House voted 252 to 170 to end the widely criticized Home Affordable Modification Program, with Republicans leading the charge to eliminate it. While the Obama administration program originally hoped to aid 3 to 4 million troubled... Continue Reading »

Negative Equity: Options If You're Upside Down in Your Mortgage

More Americans find themselves in a position of negative equity -- owing more on a mortgage than the home is currently worth. By itself, negative equity isn't necessarily trouble. Those who can afford their monthly mortgage payments and have a safe loan structure can wait out the market until home values improve. For... Continue Reading »

HAMP Program Success Rate Much Lower Than First Reported

If you've been following the ups and downs – mostly downs – of the federal Home Affordable Modification Program, you know that the HAMP has been one big bottleneck, with just a fraction of homeowners who apply succeeding in getting permanent modifications to their mortgages. Then two weeks ago the federal... Continue Reading »

HAMP Gets Its Own Advertising Campaign

The folks that brought us such iconic ad campaigns as Rosie the Riveter, Smokey the Bear and the Crash Test Dummies are tackling another historic national effort: mortgage modification. The Ad Council is teaming with the Kaplan Thaler Group, a New York advertising agency, to spread the word about the federal Home... Continue Reading »

Federal Mortgage Mods: Fannie and Freddie Bail Out More Borrowers

Are you one of the millions who didn't make the cut for the federal loan modification program, because you weren't in bad enough trouble? If your loan is held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you may be in luck. Worried that home prices will continue to decline, Fannie and Freddie are offering a hand to borrowers looking to... Continue Reading »

HAMP Offers New Hope for Borrowers

Are you considering applying for help from a foreclosure prevention program? Here's some good news. Recent changes to the largest foreclosure prevention program, the federal Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), should help the program work much more smoothly. Over the last year, the press about HAMP has been... Continue Reading »

Obama's Foreclosure Program Speeds Up Rescue Efforts -- Really!

More foreclosures are coming! That's the warning we've been getting for months from pundits and economists. The primary culprit? Big government intervention, according to these commentators. Federal foreclosure programs have slowed the foreclosure process without necessarily stopping it. That's created a huge pileup of... Continue Reading »

Foreclosures On the Rise

Foreclosure continues to be a stubborn problem that won't go away, despite government efforts to date, new data shows. But there are some bright spots. First the really bad news: Foreclosure filings were reported on 367,056 properties in March, according to data firm RealtyTrac. That's the most default notices, seizures,... Continue Reading »

Latest Foreclosure Aid: Free Lawyers

Lots of government officials have promised to help homeowners facing foreclosure, but New York City is finally offering homeowners something of real value: free legal aid to help them negotiate a fair deal from their banks. "No family facing the loss of their home should be without representation," says New York City... Continue Reading »

Florida's Broward County Officials Take a Stand Against BofA

As Florida continues to reel from foreclosures, some officials have had enough. Of Bank of America, that is. Last week, Broward County's Board of Commissioners barred the bank from participating as one of five co-managers in an upcoming municipal bond sale. The bond will raise $208 million to pay for the replacement of a... Continue Reading »

Foreclosure Prevention Gains Traction

The biggest federal program to fight home loan foreclosures is finally making some progress. More than 116,000 homeowners had received permanent loan modifications through the federal Home Affordable Modification Program as of the end of January, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Department of... Continue Reading »

At Last: Some Real Aid for Struggling Homeowners

In his latest effort to stop the foreclosure tidal wave, President Obama, flanked by Nevada Senator Harry Reid (D), on Friday announced a Plan B for five states hardest hit by the housing crisis: Nevada, Florida, Michigan, California, and Arizona. The president is directing an additional $1.5 billion in aid to the states,... Continue Reading »

The Coming Foreclosure Flood

Heartened by the recent rise in home prices? Don't get too comfortable. Standard & Poor's, the credit-rating agency that tells investors what mortgage-backed securities are worth, reports that the increase was just an illusion. It predicts the nation is about to see a deluge of new foreclosures that will drive real... Continue Reading »

Foreclosure Prevention, Take 2: Try Cash

Among the usual promises to streamline government services and help the unemployed get jobs, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's State of the City address earlier this week heralded something you don't usually hear in these kinds of speeches: in the mayor's words, "the most ambitious foreclosure prevention effort of... Continue Reading »

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