There are a large number of Americans hurting in this current recession. Yes, I know, the economists have proclaimed that the recession officially ended over a year ago - June, 2009 - but for most people that doesn't mean much. The unemployment rate hasn't reversed yet. The housing market has not reversed yet. Those who were hurt the most have not yet been restored, so the 'leading economic indicators' means nothing. Many people are still trying to keep their homes and prevent foreclosure, and most of those are attempting some sort of loan modification program. Unfortunately for 95% of them it will prove to be a futile effort.
The cold, hard truth of the matter is that bankers and lenders have been at this game for over a century and they have a vast wealth of knowledge. They know how likely it is if you will default or not before they ever give out a loan to begin with. And once you start missing payments they can re-assess your numbers and predict whether or not you will default. Loan modifications were mandated by the government mainly because politicians like to appear to be doing something to fix problems. So they all trample over each other to be the first ones in front of the cameras and microphones so that they can loudly proclaim that they are here 'for the little guy' when, in fact, they are all about their donor base. So they throw trillions of dollars at Wall Street and big banks to bail them out, then give them a paltry $50 billion for HAMP (Home Affordable Mortgage Program). Of course, they've already been bailed out, merging with each other, taking on assets while letting the government take over liabilities, so they don't actually need HAMP, for them. But HAMP is supposed to be for the homeowner, and they have a mandate, so the game begins. And here is how it has worked so far.
Over a million Americans have actually applied for loan modifications as of July, 2010. (Only a million? That seems low to me) 630,000 of them never got finalized for a permanent modification. That leaves just over 400,000 who have actually had their loans modified. In August of 2010, only 33,000 were approved, a 10-month low. In that same month, 95,000 homes were repossessed, the highest monthly number ever recorded! For five straight months more homeowners were bounced out of the HAMP program than were admitted. Call me crazy, but it doesn't look like loan mods are working too well.
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