More Details on HAMP’s Failures
Given that it is housing day in Washington, with a major conference on the future of housing finance at Treasury, it is worth taking a look at ProPublica’s latest report on the Home Affordable Modification Program, the Obama administration’s signature effort to help families remain in their homes by lowering their monthly mortgage payments.
The investigation polled 373 of homeowners seeking HAMP modifications. And it finds that not all is well. Here are some highlights pulled from the report:
- On average, [participants had] been seeking a modification for more than 14 months. The process is designed to last only a few months.
- Homeowners seeking modifications reported having to send the same documents nearly six times on average.
- 175 homeowners say they were advised, incorrectly, to fall behind on their mortgage in order to qualify for a modification.
- More than 200 homeowners said their servicer cited as missing documents that the servicer had never requested. Nearly 150 said their servicer falsely accused them of not responding to attempts to contact them, and 135 said a servicer had made an error in calculating their income.
- Most denied homeowners reported hearing different and sometimes conflicting reasons from different servicer employees for why they didn’t qualify for a modification. Two-thirds of those who had been denied — 174 customers — said they had that experience.