HAMP Helping, But Too Few, Too Slow

29 Jul HAMP Helping, But Too Few, Too Slow

CNNMoney has collected comments and reviews of the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, which demonstrate the frustration that borrowers are having trying to get HAMP modifications through the approval process.

Most servicers started implementing the program in April and May, but soon faced harsh criticism as applications flooded in. CNNMoney.com has heard overwhelming negative reviews from the nearly 500 people who wrote in about their experiences.

To help servicers speed up the modification process, the administration said it will work with the institutions to set more exacting performance measures, such as average borrower wait time, document handling and response time for completed applications. Officials will release their first progress report on each servicer — detailing the number of trail modification offers were extended and are underway — by Aug. 4.

Servicers, including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Ocwen and Wells Fargo, were spending all of Tuesday meeting with Treasury and Housing department officials in the morning and early afternoon, and then with housing counselors in the latter part of the day.

Servicers and the administration are looking for ways to streamline the process, including standardizing forms and definitions, possible online applications, and increased staffing. (The latter, I would note, would also put some folks back to work.) For now, all we can say is that the process tends to be longer and more frustrating than anyone wants it to be. I remains to be seen whether the program will be too little, too late.

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