loan modifications - Articles

Banks Modify Home Loans, Reduce Rates for 300,000

By Les Christie More than 300,000 homeowners have received $26 billion in relief under the big foreclosure abuse settlement reached earlier this year, according to a recent government report. Five of the country's largest mortgage lenders have modified home loans, reduced interest rates or forgiven debt as part of a... Continue Reading »

Has HAMP Gotten Any Better at Helping Distressed Homeowners?

Before the housing bubble burst, Anthony Ugaro lived across from a country club in Bloomfield, N.J. "I was playing golf every day. I thought I was a duke," he said. But the good life began to unravel for Ugaro, 65, when the military veteran lost his job at an electronics company in 2009. Soon after, he was diagnosed with... Continue Reading »

For 2nd Straight Month, More Homes Face Risk of Foreclosure

By Alex Veiga LOS ANGELES -- Banks are increasingly placing homes with unpaid mortgages on a countdown that could deliver a swell of new foreclosed properties onto the market by early next year, potentially weighing further on home values. June provided the latest evidence of this trend, as the number of U.S. homes... Continue Reading »

Mortgage-Debt Forgiveness Preventing Foreclosures

By Les Christie Reducing the amount that struggling homeowners owe on their mortgages is proving to be a more effective way to prevent foreclosures than other methods, such as reducing interest rates or postponing payments, a new report finds. In a report presented this week, Amherst Securities Group said that when... Continue Reading »

Avoiding Foreclosure: More and Better Options Available Now

If you're teetering on the edge of foreclosure, you may have a much better chance of finding your footing than in years past. Servicers of delinquent or at-risk mortgages appear poised to ramp up their use of alternatives to foreclosure this year, an industry shift that could enable many more homeowners to hold onto their... 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 »

Homeowners Check List for 2011

Homeowners have different needs than buyers and sellers: Mainly, they already own homes, and therefore are less affected by day-to-day market issues. Still, 2011 promises to bring some new twists to this large group of consumers. Tara-Nicholle Nelson of our sister site,, gives a glimpse at some of the housing... Continue Reading »

Veterans Day Special on AOL Real Estate

In celebration of Veterans Day, HousingWatch is featuring stories about veterans and active military personnel and their real estate experiences. Here are the top posts: 1. Volunteers Build Homes for Wounded Vet Operation: Coming Home, a team of veterans, homebuilders and other volunteers, are dedicated to providing free... Continue Reading »

Vet Beats Mortgage Mod Scam

In celebration of Veterans Day, HousingWatch is featuring stories about veterans and active military personnel and their real estate experiences. When Hank Neigel, a 66-year-old disabled veteran, realized in February 2009 that he and his wife, Carol, would no longer be able to afford the monthly $1,300 mortgage payments... 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 »

New York Creates Borrowers' Bill of Rights

Just how much trouble are mortgage borrowers having with their loan servicers? These are the companies that send the monthly bills, foreclose when the payments don't come, and too often make it really hard for many borrowers to get loan modifications when they can't afford to keep up. According to New York State Banking... Continue Reading »

Foreclosure Aid: States Fall Short on Short Sales

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the $1.5 billion in new Home Affordable Modification Program funds exclusively for states with the biggest home price drops: California, Florida, Nevada, and Arizona (Michigan somehow made it in, too). Now the Treasury Department has announced Part 2 of that project – another $600... 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 »

Foreclosures Filings Drop but Still Exceed 300,000

While there was a decrease of 3 percent in the number of foreclosure filings reported in June from the previous month, and a 7 percent decrease from June 2009, the number of filings topped 300,000 for the 16th straight month. Foreclosure filings were reported on 313,841 U.S. properties in June, according to... Continue Reading »

Chase Sued by HAMP Rejects

Homeowners seeking help reducing their mortgage payments are fed up with banks, and they're not taking it anymore. Borrowers allege that some lenders have been giving temporary "trial" modifications under the Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP), only to later refuse permanent modifications -- leaving the borrowers... 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 »

Obama Overhauls Failed HAMP Loan Modification Program

It's as good as official: Home Affordable Modification Program, the year-old government program to save homeowners from foreclosure, is a flop. Today, the Obama administration is set to announce new aid for many homeowners in trouble, who have been beyond help under the limited rules of the old HAMP program. Using $14... Continue Reading »

Sue Your Lender, Save Your Home

For homeowners struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments, their best hope may be negotiating a lower, more affordable monthly payment while they try to get their financial houses back in order. That's the aim of the government's Home Affordable Modification Program, which encourages lenders to modify loan... Continue Reading »

Foreclosures Down, But Economists Still Dour

Fewer people are getting bad news in the mailbox: the number of foreclosure fillings dropped again in January, according to the latest information from RealtyTrac. There were 315,716 foreclosure filings in January -- that's down 10 percent from December. Cheery news, at first glance. But more than 300,000 foreclosure... Continue Reading »

How to Owe More on Your Mortgage? Get a Loan Mod

Wait, aren't loan modifications supposed to provide financial relief? Yes – if you consider a teaser mortgage rate to be a bargain. A new report finds that seven in every ten borrowers who have received a change in their mortgage in order to forestall foreclosure actually now owe more in principal than they did... Continue Reading »

Picketing the Fat Cats

Is consumer frustration with the slow pace of loan modifications finally becoming more than silent resentment? If Monday's protest at the New York offices of JPMorgan Chase is any indication, the answer might be yes. With a little goading from the president, who on Sunday called America's bank presidents "fat cats," a new... Continue Reading »

Rx for Fed Loan Mod Program

Today's big news from Congress – the House passage of major financial reform legislation – shouldn't overshadow an important hearing Rep. Barney Frank's Financial Services Committee held earlier this week on how to minimize the damage wrought by the failures of the old order. In the face of evidence that... Continue Reading »

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