Trial home loan modifications from Citigroup in the Federal Modification Plan saw a decrease recently, which has led many homeowners to question whether servicers need to revamp their modification efforts from the governmental home loan modification plan or if qualifications that homeowners must meet are simply too strict. Sentiments that federal modification requirements are too difficult to meet is a common complaint from homeowners as there are more individuals who are being denied mortgage assistance through a permanent plan.
Citigroup is one of the many servicers who offers federal modification assistance to homeowners through the Making Home Affordable Program, but reports have shown decreases in trial modification numbers. As an example, HAMP reports for September stated Citigroup’s CitiMortgage had 10,400 active trial modifications, but the report for the month of October reported a decrease to 8,538 trial modification plans for Citigroup homeowners.
Understandably, not all homeowners are qualifying for these trial plans and some are simply unable to keep up with modified payments even if they are given a mortgage assistance plan, and both of these factors do contribute to homeowners losing their trial modification plan. However, homeowners argue the qualifications for the modification plan are too stringent, since proprietary modifications are helping numerous homeowners who are having trouble with their mortgage payment.
Arguments from homeowners against servicers like Citigroup have also been common as many accuse servicers of keeping homeowners in a modification program for too long or denying homeowners a permanent plan when they seemingly qualify. Yet, servicers cite the fact the qualifications for HAMP must be met before a homeowner is granted assistance, but alternative modifications may also be an option if a homeowner isn’t offered a federal modification plan.
Homeowners and servicers continue to struggle in the area of housing, but these assistance plans are still available. While other factors causing trouble for homeowners, like unemployment, may make modifications unhelpful for some, homeowners can still talk with their lender or take advantage of options like HUD-approved housing counselors if they are finding it more difficult to make their mortgage payment.