The Home Affordable Mortgage Program (“HAMP”) Does Not Work Well

loan modification lawyerPresident Obama established the HAMP program in 2009. The purpose of the program was to help 4 million mortgage holders who were in financial difficulty. However, a recent report by Christie L. Romero who was authorized by the Obama administration to monitor the program indicates the program has not accomplished its goal. The report indicated during the six years after the HAMP program was established 887,000 home owners are participating in loan modifications. The purpose of these loan modifications is to reduce the monthly costs of the mortgage to allow the homeowner and their families to continue to reside in their residence.

4 Million HAMP Mortgage Modifications Turned Down by Banks

The report indicates that instead of helping the 4 million borrowers obtain loan modifications, banks participating in the program have rejected more than 4 million borrowers’ requests for mortgage modifications. 72% of all applications for mortgage modifications have been denied. The report indicates there are two major flaws in the program. The first is the HAMP program is a voluntary program for banks. The second major flaw of the program is that banks who participate in the program process all applications based on whatever standards they decide to set up. The report on the HAMP program indicates that if you apply to CitiMortgage for a loan modification you only had a 13% chance of success. If you applied to Chase Manhattan Bank you had approximately a 16% chance of success, and if you applied to Bank of America, you had only a 20% chance of being successful.

Incomplete Mortgage Modification Applications?

The banks involved in the program claim there are numerous reasons why so many mortgage loan modifications are declined by them. They claim that in almost 40% of the cases the homeowner either does not fill out the application completely or provide the requisite documents. My office’s experience is that the banks lose or misplace the applications and the documentation even if it is provided to them several times.

HAMP Applications Rejected Without Just Cause

The report by Ms. Romero indicates that the Treasury Department is responsible for making sure that banks involved in the HAMP program are not rejecting homeowner’s requests for mortgage modifications without just cause. However, Ms. Romero says that is not taking place. She stated “we are constantly seeing problems with the way servicers are treating homeowners and are not following the rules.” She went on further to state “I don’t understand why there hasn’t been a stronger policing from the Treasury on servicers.”

Wrongful Denial of Mortgage Modifications

Jacob Inwald, the Director of Foreclosure Prevention at the Legal Services NYC which represents troubled homeowners, recently stated “virtually never does one get a loan modification application evaluated the first time.” He went on further to state “we deal with these issues every single day. It requires constant push back and challenging wrongful denials.”

There are a variety of reasons why banks are turning down mortgage modifications. However, before they are rejected the homeowner must get through the process. The process which should be relatively quick and efficient is not. Instead it can take many months and numerous requests to provide banks with the same documents over and over again before a mortgage loan modification application can be viewed by the financial institution. The delaying of the prospective homeowner’s mortgage loan modification request can be profitable for a financial institution. The more time that is involved in the modification process, the more interest, penalties and fees the bank can charge the homeowner. This can cause a drastic increase in the amount owed on the mortgage.

Conclusion

My office has been involved in scores of situations involving homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage. It is my experience the HAMP program very rarely works appropriately. Homeowners who apply for mortgage modifications must document everything they submit to the bank making sure it is in writing. I suggest mortgage modifications be sent to banks by email and be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested. All follow up on the application should be done in writing either by regular mail or by email. This helps build a case in the event the bank fails to act in good faith with regard to the mortgage modification.New York foreclosure defense lawyer

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