mortgage modification - Articles

Why Troubled Homeowners Might Be Hit With Huge Tax Bills

Shutterstock By Mitchell D. Weiss Financial adversity is an unhappy fact of life -- jobs are won and lost, savings stashed and spent, and investments gain and lose ground all the time. Certain reversals of fortune are within our ability to predict and prevent. Indeed, some losses may even be manageable. Others,... Continue Reading »

Calif. City Looks to Seize Loans to Ease Mortgages

Mark Elias/Bloomberg via Getty Images By PAUL ELIAS SAN FRANCISCO -- When the mayor of Richmond, Calif., and a gaggle of activists and homeowners showed up at the Wells Fargo Bank headquarters in downtown San Francisco this month, they were on a mission to speak with the bank's chief executive. They wanted the bank to... Continue Reading »

Minnesota Woman Says Bank Took Her Money, Foreclosed Anyway

Mardee Jerde is homeless today. At 9 a.m., a representative of JPMorgan Chase, along with a real estate agent and a locksmith, arrived to change the locks on her former three-bedroom house in Rush City, Minn. She's hoping that a last-ditch legal effort can get her home back, but meanwhile this breast-cancer survivor... Continue Reading »

Thousands of Borrowers to Get Mortgage Payments Reduced

By Les Christie Starting this week, hundreds of thousands of struggling borrowers could be in for a pleasant surprise: a quick and easy way to get their mortgage payments back on track -- and save considerable money. Through a new effort called the Streamlined Modification Initiative, borrowers with mortgages backed by... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Modifications Still Taking Banks Too Long, Report Says

By Andrew Miga WASHINGTON -- A new report says homeowners trying to avoid foreclosure must wait too long for their loan modification applications to be reviewed by some of the nation's top mortgage servicers. Such delays can plunge borrowers deeper in debt. Joseph A. Smith, the independent monitor of last year's... Continue Reading »

Government Housing Help Benefits 1 Million Homeowners in 3rd Quarter

For much of the last year, the housing market has generally been on a slow but steady path toward improvement, and that trend continued in November. A number of federal initiatives to make consumers struggling in the housing market more financially capable seem to be working, according to the latest housing scorecard from... 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 »

Court Blasts BofA for Reneging on Homeowner's Mortgage Makeover

By Samantha Henry A New Jersey appeals court blasted Bank of America this week, chastising the company for the way it handled the case of a woman the court found to be making a good faith effort to hang on to her foreclosed home. In upholding a lower court decision, the New Jersey Superior Court's appellate division... 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 »

WATCH: 'Need to Know' Explores the Mortgage Mod Maze

On the eve of the Nevada primary, in which housing policy will weigh heavily on residents of the foreclosure-ridden state, PBS' "Need to Know" takes a closer look at what the housing crisis looks and feels like for locals. In the video special below, which airs in full at 8:30 p.m. EST tonight, the "Need to Know" team... Continue Reading »

Man's Alleged Loan Mod Scam Paid for Wife's Plastic Surgery

SALT LAKE CITY -- A man who owned a loan modification business in Lehi and St. George is being accused of defrauding homeowners to pay for personal expenses including entertainment and his wife's plastic surgery. Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff says 34-year-old David Shawn Moffitt faces nine felony counts of... Continue Reading »

Feds Widen Inquiry of Online Mortgage Scams

SAN FRANCISCO -- A criminal investigation into mortgage swindlers has expanded beyond deceptive advertising on Google's Internet search engine to root out con artists who were luring their victims on Bing and Yahoo, too. Monday's news of the widening probe confirmed that the Internet's three largest search engines had... Continue Reading »

Fed Up Georgia Judge Stands Up for Struggling Homeowner

By Arthur Delaney Georgia Judge Dennis Blackmon is fed up with bailed-out banks refusing to help strapped homeowners. "Sometimes, only the courts of law stand to protect the taxpayer. Somewhere, someone has to stand up," Blackmon wrote in a five-page Nov. 2 order in Carroll County Superior Court. "Well, sometimes is now,... Continue Reading »

Second-Home Owners Eligible for Mortgage Help

California expanded its $2 billion program to help homeowners avoid foreclosure to those with second homes as well. The California Housing Finance Agency established the four Keep Your Home programs using money from the Treasury Department's $7.6 billion Hardest Hit Fund. Before, borrowers were restricted from... Continue Reading »

Housing Counselor Caught Stealing Mortgage Mod Payments

Lori Macakanja, a former housing counselor in Dunkirk, N.Y., pleaded guilty this week to mail fraud and theft of government money meant for modifying delinquent mortgages. Some 136 clients of her company, HomeFront Inc., gave Macakanja a combined $300,000 for promised modifications. She used the money for her own use,... Continue Reading »

Homeowners Beware: Forensic Loan Audit Scam

The calls started last November. Speaking in Spanish, a representative from New Century Solutions in Lake Forest, Calif., pitched Jose Chirino to purchase a forensic loan audit. For $2,995, the representative said, an audit could help the San Jose, Calif., homeowner get a much-desired loan modification and principal... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Mod Hell: Trapped Between Lenders, Collectors

Kate Hanni is no stranger to public advocacy. After she was trapped in a plane on the tarmac for more than nine hours, she formed Flyers Rights, the largest nonprofit advocacy group for airline passengers' rights. The result was the passage of the Airline Passengers Bill of Rights and the three-hour tarmac-delay limit for... Continue Reading »

HAMP Mortgage Modification Program Still No Help

The Obama administration announced more disappointing numbers for its signature anti-foreclosure initiative and said Thursday that it would continue to withhold payments from two banks running the program. Just 14,000 homeowners received trial modifications under the Home Affordable Modification Program in July, the... 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 »

Mortgage Salvation -- or New Twist on an Old Scam?

A lawyer in Tallahassee, Fla., is at the center of what some experts are calling a new take on mortgage relief scams, according to the St. Petersburg Times. Nearly 6,000 struggling homeowners seeking mortgage modifications have agreed to work with a Florida-based law firm in the hope of settling their outstanding debts.... Continue Reading »

'Single Point of Contact' Solution to Accidental Foreclosures

Some homeowners have difficulty holding on to their homes simply due to miscommunication: banks lose paperwork and fail to keep track of mortgage modification applications. The confusion is a result of multiple employees handling the same case. Laws that require a "single point of contact" between the homeowner and one... Continue Reading »

National Foreclosure Settlement Still Months Away

Closure for the thousands of homeowners affected by faulty foreclosure proceedings may still be several months away, despite the joint efforts of federal and state agencies, according to HousingWire. Following a national investigation initiated by the 50 state attorneys general in October, a settlement was proposed in... 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 »

Mortgage Modifications Top 3 Million

How many borrowers on the brink of foreclosure received some kind of home mortgage modification from their loan servicer since 2007? More than 3.7 million, according to the latest tally from Hope Now, a private-sector coalition of major loan servicing companies and nonprofit counseling organizations. That's a... Continue Reading »

HAMP Hobbles Behind Private Modification Programs

The federal government's Home Affordable Modification Program has a lot of work left to do if it hopes to catch up to the private sector. HAMP, with its promise of helping up to 4 million homeowners avoid foreclosure, completed 36,695 modifications in July. In the same period, private mortgage programs completed 120,351... 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 »

Foreclosure Rescue Scams: How to Recognize Bogus Mortgage Help

If you're a cash-strapped homeowner, an offer to modify your mortgage or help you avoid foreclosure no doubt sounds tempting. After all, you may be behind on your home loan. Credit card bills could be past due, as well. And you're likely struggling just to make ends meet. But when someone comes along promising to help you... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Default Update: Homeowners Staying in Homes Longer

More than 7.3 million home loans are in some state of delinquency or foreclosure, and there's no end in sight. That's because the number of homeowners who are 90 days or more delinquent jumped 9.2 percent in May 2010 over May 2009, according to the Mortgage Monitor Report from Lender Processing Services (LPS). When you... Continue Reading »

When to Refinance

A woman in her seventies called Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions because she could no longer afford her mortgage at a 6.75 percent rate and her house was underwater. The woman wanted to take advantage of the lower interest rates but couldn't refinance because she had no equity in the home. Karen Metoyer, a housing... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Modifications: Why a Third Are Canceled

The federal government says foreclosure prevention has helped millions of people. But sometimes it seems hard to find a pundit or news story that mentions foreclosure prevention program without using the word "failed," often in the headline. Whom should you believe? Government officials say 2.8 million homeowners at risk... Continue Reading »

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