Posts Tagged: Home Affordable Modification Program

Big banks continue to avoid helping out on foreclosures

Micah Maidenberg of Progress Illinois reports that the Illinois state government and city of Chicago have started to address the continued foreclosure crisis because the federal response “has not been commensurate with the foreclosure problem.” Particularly, the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) failed to reach most homeowners who could avoid foreclosure. However, the state and city responses do little to push mortgage servicers — many of them “too big to fail” banks — towards more active support for troubled homeowners. (more…)

Michelle Bachmann might be right

Few politicians are as polarizing as Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann. So it’s no surprise that Democrats are going after her vote to defund TARP’s Home Affordable Modification Program, reports Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent. But Bachmann is doing nothing different than her Republican colleagues who already voted to terminate a Federal Housing Administration foreclosure prevention measure and who have spoken in favor of eliminating all such Obama programs.

Another thing:  Bachmann has a point. Even progressives readily admit that HAMP is a failure that has yet to gain momentum. Democrats who support of foreclosure prevention programs should propose an alternative plan of action than defend the current menu of policies.

PSA: Inside the Agency, Outside the Box at FDIC

Another in Understanding Government’s series “Public Service Announcement” profiling the careers and challenges of notable government employees

By Norman Kelley

At the epicenter of last year’s economic meltdown, along with the disappearance of major financial firms, was the collapse of IndyMac Federal Bank, a California-based institution that found itself overwhelmed with distressed mortgages. A result of the nation’s toxic housing bubble (and an at-sleep-at-the-wheel regulatory infrastructure), IndyMac was emblematic of the country’s national mortgage foreclosure crisis.  FDIC economist Clare Rowley was in the eye of Indy Mac’s particular hurricane, trying to rectify that bank’s troubled assets and find ways to save homeowners with IndyMac mortgages from foreclosure.

Clare Rowley with thanks to Washington Post-Newsweek

Clare Rowley

In July 2008, along with other FDIC colleagues, Rowley was dispatched to Pasadena, California, site of IndyMac’s home office. There she helped implement a mortgage modification program that allowed qualified but struggling mortgage holders to stay in their homes. The FDIC’s modification program, which some called a “Model in a Box,” consisted of three basic parts: lowering interest rates, extending  loan terms, and principal forbearance.  The model worked:  by the spring of 2009, 88 % of modified loans were still in force.

When the new Obama administration began tackling the mortgage crisis in mid-2009, (more…)