New data from the Treasury Department regarding the Making Home Affordable program is set to be released here in early June, but for homeowners who have been reviewing reports released earlier this year, it should come as no surprise that there have been increases in the number of foreclosure starts and completions that homeowners have seen when they failed to either acquire a trial home loan modification or transition into a permanent home loan modification agreement. Yet, many homeowners are still turning to HAMP as a way to find solutions for their mortgage payment difficulties, even though there are some problems that have still presented themselves along the path for these homeowners who are seeking foreclosure prevention aid.
Hopefully, homeowners are going to find that foreclosures will begin to abate slightly in the coming months, if employment will begin to pick up from the lackluster report that was seen in May, and homeowners can find more success through foreclosure prevention efforts. As an example of foreclosure problems that are still being seen, the number of total foreclosure starts that were tracked for the March 2011 Making Home Affordable Report, which was the latest report and was released in the early part of May, stated that over 188,000 foreclosure starts have been tracked to date for homeowners not accepted for a trial modification and over 88,000 homeowners saw foreclosure starts when their trial modification was canceled during the same period of time. Thankfully, not all of these starts led to a completion, but they do show that homeowners continue to face to possibility of foreclosure.
The question over whether these foreclosures are related to deficiencies in the home loan modification program and shortcomings on the part of servicers or if factors like long-term unemployment are to blame remain, but there are various opinions on what needs to be done to correct the continued increases in foreclosures that have been seen over the past months. Some officials have recently stated that housing will be the key to recovery, more specifically housing will lead the way to recovery, but there are arguments to this line of thinking as some believe that it will take stability in the personal financial lives of homeowners, and consumers in general, before missed payments on home loans can be avoided. For this to occur, it would seem that employment opportunities in the job market would lead the way out of the slow recovery that we are seeing, and this would bring about beneficial results in the housing market as more homeowners would have ability to pay their mortgage and new homebuyers may enter the housing market in greater numbers.
Currently though, we have problems related to high unemployment and, once again, a very troubling jobs report that came in May, but there have been increases in the number of jobs added earlier this year and, if jobs will begin to return, the backlog of homes that are sitting empty may be filled and foreclosures would obviously be less of an issue. However, how long it will take these events to transpire is up for debate and, homeowners who are still struggling to make ends meet do still have primary foreclosure prevention options through the Making Home Affordable Program and their mortgage servicer, even though these plans have had their fair share of complaints in the past. Homeowners can also take advantage of extension plans and state-specific programming which may go beyond traditional modifications, but since employment still remains an issue for many, there is a continual need for these programs to help homeowners at the present time since more homeowners are finding they can’t make ends meet.