loan modification - Articles

Michelle Hansen Tags Home With Message to Chase Bank: You're 'Stealing' My House

Cases of homeowners struggling against their banks to fend off foreclosure are a dime a dozen these days. But Michelle Hansen of Aurora, Colo., is upping the ante against JPMorgan Chase, which she says is refusing to grant her a loan modification after she became delinquent on her mortgage. What's her tactic? She's using... Continue Reading »

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 »

Homeowner Kimberly Smith's Mortgage Loan Modification Saved Her Only $1.61 Per Month

Stone Mountain, Ga., resident Kimberly Smith couldn't believe her eyes when she saw how much she was saving on her mortgage under a loan modification with Bank of America. That's not to say that it was a generous amount: Her monthly payments went down by a grand total of $1.61. "It has to be a Halloween joke,"... Continue Reading »

Hope That U.S. Can Weather New Foreclosure Storm

Like a dark, ominous cloud, the menace of a foreclosure onslaught has loomed portentously over the U.S. real estate market in recent months, threatening to wash away a fledgling recovery. Now it looks like the storm has hit -- but this time we may be ready for it. After more than two years of sputtering, the... Continue Reading »

Facing Foreclosure, Ernie Soto Fights to Hang Onto Family Home

By Arthur Delaney ALAMOGORDO, N.M. -- From next to the dead tree in his backyard, Ernie Soto can see the big house where he used to live. It's perched on the side of a mountain overlooking Alamogordo, a town of 36,000 on the eastern edge of New Mexico's Tularosa Basin. In 2007 Soto moved downhill to a smaller house... Continue Reading »

The Mortgage Fix That Can Save the Economy

The loan modification programs have been a joke. You have a house that has tanked in value and the best the banks can come up with is a plan where they sort of delay what you owe long enough for you to get back on your financial feet -- if that -- based on the flawed logic that the housing market is certain to improve in... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Lenders Pressed to Cut Balances for Distressed Owners

The nation's five largest mortgage lenders may be forced to reduce loan balances for distressed homeowners as part of an agreement with state attorneys general and the Obama administration to settle claims of faulty mortgage practices, a top state official involved in the negotiations said Tuesday. The proposal is part of... Continue Reading »

Report: Banks Force Distressed Homeowners to Waive Right

As the federal government wades deeper into claims of improper foreclosure procedures at the nation's largest banks, a new scandal is emerging. An investigative series by ProPublica has revealed that several lenders are forcing distressed homeowners to sign away their rights to sue in exchange for a temporary loan... Continue Reading »

Florida Foreclosure Aid Plans Falter

The Florida Supreme Court continues to devise programs in an effort to help homeowners in foreclosure, or so it would seem. The Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program initiative was announced in 2009 and a Florida Supreme Court Task Force was assigned to implement the program. The 52-page report by the Task... Continue Reading »

Loan Modification Plans Fail, Banks Not to Blame

So it appears that some Congress-critters are agitating about the utter failure that is the suite of government loan modification programs. House Republicans want to repeal the Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP), calling it a "colossal failure". Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA), a sub-program, is also... Continue Reading »

Foreclosure: Feds' Prevention Plan Lags

Foreclosure preventions were a leading priority when the Obama administration committed $50 billion in aid to troubled homeowners at the start of 2009. But as of October, the Treasury Department had spent only $600 million on the government's mortgage modification program, a mere drop in the bucket when compared to the... Continue Reading »

Loan Modifications: What You Need to Know

Last year was difficult for Adline Peck and her husband. Peck, who lives in Inkster, Mich. was battling medical issues, and her husband had been laid off from work. Though they struggled to make their monthly mortgage payments, they continued to try their best, even if it meant sending in payments a week or two late.... Continue Reading »

Foreclosure Help: What a Housing Counselor Can Do

In 2010 an estimated 4 million homes will be slapped with foreclosure notices, making it the worst year yet for foreclosures during the housing crisis. And without a strong economic recovery the numbers could continue to escalate, leaving more Americans unable to afford their homes. One way to turn back the tide is with... Continue Reading »

Mortgage 'Vultures' Keep Defaulting Owners in Homes

You might think a vulture is the least likely creature to help you save your home. But there's a group of vultures who are doing just that -- in fact, they're being more of a friend, to many homeowners in trouble, than banks are. One of them, mortgage-bond trader Lewis Ranieri, has developed a method to keep troubled... Continue Reading »

What's Hot on HousingWatch This Week

If you never thought you'd read news about rapper Chamillionaire, political pundit George Stephanopoulos, and architect Frank Lloyd Wright all in a single article, today's your lucky day. It was all here on HousingWatch this week -- see what else our readers were interested in: 1. Rapper Chamillionaire Loses Houston 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 »

Foreclosed Homeowners Live Free for a Year in Some States

With the average foreclosure now taking 438 days, delinquent borrowers are finding that they can live in their homes without making mortgage payments for at least a year. But there is a catch. That nationwide average may not apply in your state. The states with the longest wait time before foreclosure are those states... 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 »

Do Tougher Bankruptcy Laws Increase Mortgage Defaults?

It used to be that when people got into more financial trouble than they could manage on their own, they would declare personal bankruptcy. Then, in 2005, U.S. bankruptcy laws became more stringent: The amount of home equity that was protected from creditors was subject to tougher rules and, along with additional costs,... Continue Reading »

Foreclosed Homeowners Now Have Free Web Help

As recently reported on NBC Miami's website, homeowners in danger of losing their homes because of an increasing mortgage now have a place to turn, and it's as easy as logging on and registering on the site. It's called and was created by the website's CEO and founder, Jonathan Ende. It's a... Continue Reading »

HousingWatch Top Posts This Week

It was a big news week for homeowners, as the federal government ended its massive mortgage asset buying program that has been propping up the housing market, home prices barely budged, and California Governor Schwarzenegger unveiled a new $10,000 tax credit for home buyers. HousingWatch had those stories and more. See... Continue Reading »

Home Affordable Help Turns 1, Still Crawling

Happy Birthday, HAMP! As the federal foreclosure mitigation program hits the one-year mark, it's finally helping a significant number of people renegotiate their mortgage payments and stay in their homes. More than a quarter million people had been approved for permanent home loan modifications through the $75 billion... 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 »

Web Site Cuts Through HAMP Redtape

Having trouble getting through the red tape of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)? You're not alone. But getting mortgage relief has just gotten a little bit easier. A new web site,, promises to walk you through the process and determine whether you are eligible for HAMP within 15 minutes... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Relief, or More Delay?

According to a draft proposal obtained by the Wall Street Journal and some others, the Treasury Dept. is toying with the idea of giving distressed homeowners 30 days to respond to a mortgage lender after being turned down for a mortgage modification---you know, the type most folks haven't been able to obtain... 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 »

New Year's Cramdown

Will the cramdown survive into the next decade? Banks have successfully lobbied against many proposed financial reforms, but perhaps none more strenuously than the cramdown -- a court-ordered reduction of a mortgage loan's outstanding principal. Although lowering principal is arguably one of the most effective ways to... Continue Reading »

Citi decides not to play Scrooge for the holidays

Get this: Citigroup wants to make sure that its customers -- those on the verge of being booted out of their homes -- have a less stressful holiday. So the beleaguered bank has decided to give them a holiday reprieve by suspending foreclosures and evictions for up to 30 days. "We want our borrowers to have a much less... Continue Reading »

Foreclosures Come as Relief for Some Desperate Families

When Lindsay Zortman and her husband put up their newly renovated house on the market in September 2008, the family moved into a rental home so that it would be easier to close on the sale. But the real estate market collapse went into full force, and the Zortmans decided to tough out the winter and then move back into... Continue Reading »

This Week's Hot Rental Stories

- Big news! We launched a sister site: with real estate news and opinion for buyers. Check it out if you're thinking of buying or just want to be up on the real estate market. - We still can't get enough of Tiger Woods and his juicy affairs. This week readers were drawn to our story on Tiger's Palm Beach... Continue Reading »


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