Making Home Affordable Program Options–Are Permanent Modifications Helping Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure?

Continued efforts in the Making Home Affordable Program have had mixed results as there are officials who feel the program is largely a failure, while there have been homeowners who were greatly assisted through modification efforts that lowered the monthly payment they must meet on their home loan while they are in a period of financial distress. Yet, many have stated that permanent modifications are difficult to come by for homeowners and even if a homeowner qualifies for one of these modification programs, there is no guarantee that they will continue to remain in their home as defaults are still a problem even after modifications are offered.

Obviously, homeowners who have been aided by the Making Home Affordable Program have usually been with a wide range of lenders like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, or other financial institutions that have had a great deal of difficulty keeping homeowners from the foreclosure process as continued financial difficulties have arisen in the lives of many. Yet, reports from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Treasury Department has stated that there are still benefits which are to be gained from the modification plan and, in a recent report published to track these claims, it was indicated that homeowners are finding more success through these foreclosure prevention plans.

The Housing Scorecard for January 2011 stated that, “Homeowners in HAMP permanent modifications continue to perform well over time, with re-default rates lower than industry norms. December data for the Making Home Affordable Program (MHA) shows that after 12 months, nearly 85 percent of homeowners remain in a permanent modification.” While this may be a positive claim that points to the helpfulness of modification efforts both from federal initiatives and extension programs, there are still concerns that the overall number of homeowners who were initially to be helped has yet to be met and will not likely be seen upon the program’s conclusion.

While there are also outside programs being made available directly from home loan servicers, the Making Home Affordable Program is still one of the more popular methods that homeowners initially seek out to help them with their mortgage payment difficulties. However, complaints from homeowners still continue that either the modification program or servicers have been the cause of their distress and, by and large, the modification plan has done little to help them with their home loan distress issues.

The opinions on the home loan modification program still vary greatly between servicers, governmental officials, and homeowners but proponents of the modification program have pointed out that before the inception of HAMP there were few options for homeowners who were in need of assistance to avoid foreclosure on their home. While proprietary modifications, as well as, state-specific mortgage assistance plans are still in place to help homeowners who are looking for options outside of the federal modification plan, the Making Home Affordable Program may still offer homeowners the assistance they need for mortgage payment troubles, underwater home loan issues, or difficulties related to employment.