Bank of America homeowners facing foreclosure typically have turned to the home loan modification program to find foreclosure prevention assistance through either a traditional home loan modification or with the help of extension programs that may also bring aid to homeowners in a negative equity situation or who happen to be facing unemployment. Yet, data from the most recent Making Home Affordable Program report has shown that foreclosures have increased with not only Bank of America but other financial institutions participating in HAMP as well.
There were some banks that did see a decrease in the number of foreclosure starts, but many are still seeing the number of not only foreclosure completions but foreclosure starts increase as a result of continued hardships that homeowners are facing. As an example, Bank of America reported that, for homeowners who were not accepted into a trial modification, as of January 2011, a total of 51,419 foreclosure starts and 15,677 foreclosure completions had been made, and for homeowners whose trial modification was canceled there was a total of 28,449 foreclosure starts and 4,392 foreclosure completions.
Obviously, homeowners who are still facing financial hardships do run the risk of seeing foreclosure as the end result, despite the fact that there are new programs that have been implemented as a way to help homeowners avoid the loss of their home. While there are some who have been heavily critical of the modification program and the financial institutions that have been charged with implementing these programs, homeowners do have expansion plans beyond traditional modifications that may address specific issues, as well as, state-specific foreclosure prevention options that are currently ongoing and may provide individuals the opportunity to avoid the loss of their home when factors like negative equity or unemployment are present.
However, when it comes to homeowners who are facing financial difficulty and fear that missed payments on their home loan may soon be a problem, many are being advised to take preventative measures in the hopes of avoiding the need of a modification altogether. As an example, there are approved housing counselors from HUD or the Making Home Affordable Program that may be of assistance to homeowners in these areas where a modification may be prevented or homeowners simply need assistance when it comes to making their way through the home loan modification process.
Homeowners do need to understand that the modification program and mortgage servicers are not perfect and there can be difficulties that arise during the process, so taking action soon when financial difficulties arise can be more beneficial as homeowners might have the time to explore not only modification options but programs that may be available in their state from the Hardest Hit Fund which could also bring about foreclosure prevention aid. Yet, as there are still efforts being made to improve the modification program, some homeowners may find that, despite past difficulties that have been faced, foreclosure prevention may be more of an option in the coming months, through not only this particular federal initiative and major financial institutions, but through state programs that may also help unemployed homeowners stay in their home until the economy and job market improve.