Tiny Percentage Getting Help Through Modification Program

by Karen Oakes, Esq.

November 28, 2009

Folks, the question was “Who Are The 100,000 Homeowners Receiving BOA Mortgage Modifications”?   The question at the end of the blog was “where are they?”.   It turns out that perhaps the mainstream media is beginning to catch on to what consumer attorneys already knew:   Perhaps they don’t exist.   Only a tiny percentage of mortgage modifications attempts turn into reality according to  Tami Luhby, a CNNmoney.com senior writer, in a November 28, 2009, article entitled “Obama Mortgage Rescue:  Only A Few Get Lasting Help.”

Ms. Luhby discovered that fewer than 5% of the Freddie Mac attempted loan modifications resulted in long-term adjustments.   She also discovered that only 1.26% of all trial adjustments were made permanent according to the Congressional Oversight Panel (overseeing the use of the government’s bailout funds by the mortgage companies) (Note:  The report of the panel was featured in a OCTOBER 18, 2009 blog by Jill Michaux.  Over SIX WEEKS AGO.).

According to Ms. Luhby, JPMorgan Chase is saying that homeowners are to blame for not returning paperwork.   Hmmm…..interesting.   That is what Wells Fargo has told my clients, BOA has said that to my clients; GMAC has said that to my clients…..since the consultations report sending documents numerous times and being told that the documents are not received, one must wonder about both the U.S. Postal Services and the facsimile machine’s ability to lose documents….could this phenomenon be related to the millions of socks lost in the dryers across the country?    Or perhaps they are following the example of the schoolchild who explains to the teacher:  “the dog ate my homework”.   Ms. Luhby’s article mentions homeowners who have had the same problems with the servicers reporting incomplete paperwork.

Lastly, Ms. Luhby quotes the Treasury Department: ” It is in servicers’ interest to convert eligible borrowers since they only get incentive payments when the modification is made permanent” according to a Treasury spokeswoman “Plus, if the government finds institutions to have wrongly deny swaths of people, it could impose penalties.”     Pardon my disbelief.   How does the Treasury Department plan on finding these wrongfully denied eligible borrowers?   Not a single one of my clients who have been denied mortgage modification report having heard from the Treasury Department….

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I'm a consumer protection lawyer in Oregon, working with people in Klamath; Lake; Jackson; Josephine; Curry; and Deschutes County. I speak regularly on bankruptcy and consumer protection issues nationwide.

Last modified: October 22, 2012