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Foreclosures Down Even Though Some Government Programs Are Off To A Slow Start

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on September 10, 2009


Michael Barr, the Treasury Dept.’s assistant secretary for financial institutions, briefed Congress on the Administration’s various housing related programs on Sept. 9. Barr said 45 loan servicers accounting for 85% of the loans in the country had signed up for the six month old Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), which pays servicers to lower the monthly payments of borrowers in distress. Barr said the program is showing early signs of success with 360,000 borrowers signing up for loan modifications.

That’s a drop in the bucket though of the millions originally anticipated. Barr said government related agencies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have modified 2.7 million loans since the crisis began. He reiterated analysts projections that six million homeowners could lose their homes before the mortgage meltdown ends.

Meanwhile, foreclosure tracker RealtyTrac released data on Sept 10 that showed the number of new foreclosure-related filings sliding slightly—less than 1%—from June. The overall number of filings—356,000— is still up 18% year over year. One positive sign: banks foreclosed on 13% fewer homes in July—for a total of 76,134. “The outflow of bank-owned properties onto the resale market is being more carefully regulated,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. But he noted there is still a record number of delinquent borrowers and foreclosed homes that could come on the market.

Reader Comments

anthony thomas

September 11, 2009 6:04 PM

i live in Tampa fl.who do i contact to try and get a goverment loan modification.

Laurie Moore-Moore

September 14, 2009 11:33 AM


Here are some steps that will get you started...
1. Check your eligibility for a change in your mortgage payment under the Making Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). Answer four simple questions by checking the boxes – it’s easy and confidential. Visit the Making Home Affordable website:

2. Determine if your loan is covered by the Making Home Affordable Program
Check to see if you have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan. All you need is your name and complete home address.
1-800-732-6643, 8am to 8pm (East Coast time) M-F
1-800-373-3343, 8am to 8pm (East Coast time) M-F

If neither Fannie nor Freddie own or guarantee your loan, you may still qualify. You’ll want to contact your lender or your mortgage servicer* to see if they are participating in the program. Most loans are covered, including FHA loans.

To see if your servicer is participating in the Making Home Affordable Program

If you don’t find your servicer on the list, contact your lender and ask what assistance may be available to you. Look for the “Contact your mortgage company” headline on the website.

*Note: The servicer is a firm that performs services for the mortgage lender. This includes collecting mortgage payments, paying the borrower's taxes and insurance and, when required, assisting with loss mitigation and foreclosure.

Visit for more information.

Hope this helps! Good luck.
Laurie Moore-Moore

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BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.

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