The Home Affordable Modification Program has seen some continued success over the past few months, as certain changes that have been implemented in the past may have made it easier for homeowners to communicate with their servicer and apply for this particular program, but when it comes to helping homeowners there are those who feel that much more can be done as recent statements by officials concerning this Treasury Department program has indicated that more accountability from servicers could potentially lead to a final push towards success in the remaining year of HAMP. Yet, there are those who feel that the federal modification program has somewhat been a failure, in terms of its original goal, despite the fact that there have been increases in the total number of permanent modifications that have been made.
As an example, the January 2011 Making Home Affordable report from the Treasury Department indicated that there was a total number of the 539,493 active permanent modifications, as of January 31, but the most recent data we have indicated that there are a total number of 690,969 active permanent modifications that have been made as of August 31, 2011. Since the program was originally hoped to help millions of homeowners, there has been a great deal of criticism from this initiative despite the fact that there are some homeowners seeing assistance when it comes to avoiding foreclosure as a result of a modified home loan agreement.
Yet, arguments from officials presiding over the Troubled Asset Relief Program, specifically the inspector general Christy Romero, recently surrounded the idea that some changes to the program could be more beneficial in terms of the remaining months that homeowners have when it comes to getting this particular option on their home loan in a way that will allow them to affordably meet their mortgage payment. While the inspector general suggested that certain goals be put in place that servicers had to meet, more documentation be required by banks in terms of changes that are made during a homeowner’s application process, and stricter policies related to the Treasury Department requiring compliance and withholding incentives could potentially help more homeowners throughout the remainder of 2011 and into 2012, which at the present time is when the program is set to conclude.
Obviously, many homeowners are aware that the Treasury Department has implemented a rating system that has shown areas where certain banks need to improve, there have also been changes in the past that have hopefully made communication much easier for homeowners, but there are still issues where those who are pursuing a modification have found that a great deal of confusion, lost paperwork, and repeated requests for the same documentation by homeowners are just a few problems and frustrating issues that these men and women attempting to acquire modification have had to face.
There are resources like the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline that may help homeowners better organize the documentation required for a modification, better communicate with their mortgage servicer, and potentially explore all of the opportunities available to help them have a successful transition through the modification process, arguments do still remain that improvements could potentially help more homeowners find affordable solutions to their mortgage payment problems as financial issues related to factors like unemployment remain present and problematic.