"They" claim they are on track with modifications. Anyone out there receive a successful modification under HAMP?
Over 500,000 mortgages are adjusted in Obama plan
By Ronald D. Orol MarketWatch
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - An Obama administration loan modification program has met its goal of having 500,000 mortgages modifications started as part of its program to help three to four million troubled homeowners over the next three years, the Treasury Department reported on Thursday.
The Treasury wanted to have 500,000 home loan modifications started by Nov. 1, but had accomplished that goal roughly one month earlier.
U.S. loan servicers have begun modifying more than 487,081 loans for troubled homeowners on the verge of foreclosure as of the end Sept. 30, according to the report. The program met its 500,000 goal in early October. More than 757,955 modification offers have been extended by loan servicers as part of the program known as the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP. Read details from the report
The government in March launched a program to provide $75 billion in funds, in part, from the $700 billion bank bailout Troubled Asset Relief Program to loan servicers to assist them in modifying loans by lowering monthly interest rates through any participating lender.
Under this plan, the lender voluntarily lowers the interest rate, and the government provides subsidies to the lender. Eligible borrowers become part of a three-month trial period, where troubled homeowners prove they can pay the lower mortgage payments before they qualify for longer term modifications.
The Treasury in March said it had hoped to modify three to four million home loans within the next three years, the amount the department says it is on track to meet.
The report comes as the Congressional Oversight Panel, which oversees the TARP program, is set to release its report Friday for how the mortgage modification program has been functioning.
There were critics of the government's success claim. Valparaiso University School of Law Professor Alan White said in a Sept. 25 report that he was "troubled" by a lack of evidence of a significant number of temporary modifications becoming permanent, noting that many HAMP agreements were put in place in May and June, and should have been converted to permanent modifications by August or September.
"There is no evidence yet of significant numbers of HAMP temporary modifications becoming permanent," White said in the study.
Home-builder stocks were among the market's biggest gainers Thursday on hopes the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit will be expanded or extended by the government.
The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index Fund (ITB) was up 5% in midday trade, while Lennar Corp. (LEN), Ryland Group Inc. (RYL) and KB Home (KBH) all rose nearly 10%.
Bank of America improving
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