Bank of America was one servicer who, according to reports that were recently released by the Treasury Department in the early parts of June, saw an increase in the number of trial modifications that they have made, but with new information being made available about the federal home loan modification initiative, homeowners are still wondering if even positive results by various banks are pointing to potential improvements in the program or whether home loan modifications are still widely available. The topic of modifications, particularly from the Home Affordable Modification Program is one that has been ongoing since 2009 and since there are changes and new information constantly becoming available, homeowners at various points in the mortgage arena are attempting to keep track of what is going on.
For this reason, many homeowners who may either be in a good financial position or those who are facing potential foreclosure on their home are all looking at what their servicer is doing, and whether steps in the right direction are being made. While Bank of America has had plenty of complaints from homeowners since the federal home loan modification program’s inception, recent data may offer a more positive outlook for some as not only did these trial modifications increase but the total number of active permanent modifications for not only Bank of America but overall increased as well.
Bank of America’s active trial modifications increased from over 43,000 in the month of March to 45,809 active trials as reported in April’s Making Home Affordable report. The Treasury Department has also begun looking at how these modifications are progressing, and the new rating system which has been reported on earlier has shown that there is room for improvement for almost every bank. While the severity of a financial institution’s need for improvement has varied from one to another, some homeowners are facing issues related to their servicer either miscalculating their income, having a second look at a homeowner’s modification application come back as disagreeing with a servicer’s primary decision, and there have also been some problems related to the rate of conversion that homeowners are seeing from a trial modification to a permanent assistance plan.
Homeowners are still being told to not only speak with their servicer but talk with housing counselors that may be available from the HOPE Hotline, as these resources may help make the progression from financial distress to a trial modification to a permanent modification much smoother, as there are major financial institutions like Bank of America who are still seeing increases in permanent modifications. While this particular form of foreclosure prevention is not always guaranteed though, homeowners may begin to see improvements in certain areas thanks to these ratings that are now available and upcoming changes in the modification program in general.