Mortgage Modifications Can Hurt

31 Aug Mortgage Modifications Can Hurt

Mortgage modifications can hurt. Here is a summary of a very recent study on mortgage modifications by Alan M. White, Assistant Professor, Valparaiso University School of Law, with my emphasis added.

“The gist is that voluntary mortgage modifications are not reducing principal debt, and are in fact increasing it, and that many modifications are not even reducing monthly payments. In addition, whether a homeowner gets a modification, and what kind they get, depends a great deal on who their servicer is.

“The data in the report covers about 100,000 subprime mortgages, about 4,000 of which were modified in the last twelve months. The most common modifications are interest rate reductions to reduce the payment, interest rate freezes on ARMs, and recasting of arrears and reamortization, which increases principal debt and monthly payments.”

The working title of this not-yet-published study is REWRITING CONTRACTS, WHOLESALE: DATA ON VOLUNTARY MORTGAGE MODIFICATIONS FROM 2007 AND 2008 REMITTANCE REPORTS.

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L. Jed Berliner practices exclusively in consumer bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, and related consumer protection litigation such as credit card defenses and suing debt collectors. He established his Springfield, MA practice in 1988. Attorney Berliner is a regular and active contributor to the Bankruptcy Law Network, the Bankruptcy Roundtable, and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, three specialized consumer bankruptcy forums on the Internet, and is an informal mentor to regional practitioners. He is recognized by his peers as an expert in consumer bankruptcy issues. He thoroughly enjoys being rated "excellent" in his client surveys.

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