The total number of Bank of America home loan modification trials and permanent assistance plans within the federal Making Home Affordable foreclosure prevention program had been tracked over the past months as a way to monitor the success rate of these modification efforts and, as of late, many officials and homeowners have begun questioning how helpful the modification program actually is. Obviously, there are mixed results as some homeowners have found that home loan modification plans from servicers like Bank of America, among others, have been greatly helpful in providing affordability and lower monthly mortgage payments, but there are homeowners who have not seen help from the modification program and have waged complaints as a result.
Understandably, homeowners who did not qualify for the modification program, or those who feel they may have been unjustly disqualified from modification assistance, are in a position where they believe changes must be made in the modification plan for homeowners to not only find more affordable payment options but have sustainable foreclosure prevention plans in place that will prevent widespread foreclosures in the coming months.
As far as modification data, the December 2010 Making Home Affordable servicer report stated that Bank of America had initially started 352,869 trial modification plans and 101,604 saw permanent modification starts, again from the program’s inception. Yet, current data shows that the active trial modifications for Bank of America are at 45,753 and active permanent modifications are at 90,243.
The disposition path for homeowners with various servicers will often differ as some have fallen into bankruptcy, have seen alternative modification plans offered, have paid off their loan, or have participated in a foreclosure alternative program. Yet, despite the fact that there are extension plans available to homeowners who are in a difficult financial position, many feel that the flaws within the Making Home Affordable Program must be addressed before homeowners will see any sustainable success and redefault rates will drop.
There are homeowners who feel that the modification program is more of a hindrance and is more swayed towards benefiting banks rather than homeowners, but again, there are mixed results and opinions on this issue as some homeowners have reportedly been offered modifications that allow them to sustain their mortgage payment and avoid foreclosure. Yet, there is no question that the modification program from the Making Home Affordable initiative may need to be retooled, but homeowners who fear the loss of their home do have alternative modification plans available from servicers like Bank of America as well.
Yet, homeowners have also been prompted to contact a reputable housing counselor approved either through the Making Home Affordable Program or the Department of Housing and Urban Development as these resources may be able to either help homeowners find a solution to their mortgage difficulties within a homeowner’s personal financial life or guide them through the modification process and increase their potential for success. While the modification programs are not guaranteed to be offered or help the homeowner sustain their mortgage payment, these assistance plans are still available to those in need and, homeowners who feel assistance will be necessary for their situation, may want to address their financial troubles early to give themselves the best opportunity to avoid the loss of their home.