The home loan modification program has had a great deal of mixed results over the past months and opinions on this issue vary from different officials who believe that either the program needs more time to help homeowners or there are some who think that HAMP has largely been a failure and needs to be terminated. However, there was recent reports from the Making Home Affordable Program that did show an increase in the number of permanent home loan modifications that were made by some of the programs top servicers.
While there have been ups and downs of the modification program, and numerous homeowners have complained about various practices on the part of servicers, as well as, the costs that have been incurred while pursuing a modification and unaffordable payment requirements even when a modification is in place, there are still problems related to defaults after a homeowner has been given a reduced mortgage payment option. Yet, the number of permanent home loan modifications which were made between December 2010 and January 2011 did increase.
According to the latest HAMP report, the total number of permanent home loan modifications that were active in the December 2010 report stood at 521,630, and that number rose in January 2011 to 539,493. Obviously, there have been problems with the cancellation of both trial and permanent modifications, but homeowners still argue that more needs to be done within the program’s infrastructure to allow for a more streamlined process, as well as, more affordability for those in need. Some homeowners complained that servicers have continually lost the paperwork, demanded excessive and unaffordable payment plans, or may simply have denied a homeowner a modification plan when they feel they should have had this option available.
While proprietary home loan modifications have also been an option for many, there are those who argue that servicers have not properly implemented these modification efforts in some cases, which has led to the call for the program’s termination due to the lack of success. Servicers have had their share of problems, but some homeowners have simply had a difficult process of properly meeting qualifications and paperwork requirements, which may have led to their disqualification.
Some servicers have had problems with homeowners missing payments even when a modification is offered, which is usually traced back to the simple inability of a homeowner to remain in their property due to financial distress. However, there are those who feel that servicers can help homeowners through modifications as proprietary, in-house modification assistance programs are, again, outnumbering federal modifications and may be more available to homeowners due to the fact that servicers can, essentially, personalize modifications rather than apply universal guidelines.
Understandably, many homeowners are still set against servicers and feel that they are the source of the problem, while some officials believe that it could be the modification program overall or a combination of mistakes on the part of homeowners, servicers, and the insufficiencies of the program. Yet, homeowners who are still struggling to make mortgage payments and may need help can talk directly with their servicer about modification program availability or consult a Making Home Affordable housing counselor for outside help that may aid them with their finances or the modification application process.