The Obama home loan modification program saw an increase in the number of homeowners who were assisted through either trial or permanent home loan modifications in 2010, but recent criticism over the modification plan has led many to question whether the program will continue throughout 2011 as the expiration date set forth for HAMP is not set to arrive until 2012. Recent legislation introduced by members of Congress hopes to repeal the modification program, but there are those who feel that despite the shortcomings of the program, legislators will not vote to end the Obama Making Home Affordable Program prematurely due to the fact that there are still homeowners who may be aided by these modification efforts.
Yet, overall in 2010 homeowners did see an increase in modifications from various servicers as it was reported in the January 2010 Making Home Affordable Report that 116,297 permanent home loan modifications were currently in place with 830,438 trial modifications in the works. At the end of the year, the December 2010 Making Home Affordable Report stated that there were 521,630 active permanent home loan modifications but only 152,289 active trial modifications.
The initial goal of the Obama modification program was to help between three and four million homeowners, but if the program continues on its current course that will obviously not be a goal that is reached, yet, there are those who feel that homeowners have benefited from these modification efforts and there have also been benefits seen in other areas of housing assistance as well. As an example, many feel the Obama home loan modification program essentially set the standard for how other servicers offer home loan modification assistance and, as a result, reports have indicated that the number of private, in-house home loan modification plans offered directly from servicers was more than double the number of federal modifications.
However, there are those who feel that changes to the federal modification program could result in more homeowners finding success as there are difficulties related to servicers, homeowner qualifications, and penalties that can be levied when the proper guidelines are not followed. While banks sign a contract to voluntarily participate in the home loan modification program, there is little recourse that has been taken when they do not follow Making Home Affordable guidelines and many homeowners feel that this is one of the reasons that low numbers have been seen.
Yet, not all the blame can be put on servicers as factors like unemployment also remain a problem due to the fact that there are homeowners who still default even when they are in a home loan modification plan. While, again, there has been a proposal to repeal the modification program, there are still options for homeowners to seek out this form of Federal homeowner assistance and it’s hoped that in 2011 homeowners will be able to continue to access either federal or proprietary mortgage modification plans in the hopes of preventing further foreclosures across the nation.