Ok, we have lots of news on the modification/foreclosure realm today.
First, I came across this article yesterday about mortgage modification programs. Alan Zibel for the AP wrote that Obama’s HAMP plan has started reaching “1 in 5 homeowners.”(1) But, as we know, most servicers keep up with the foreclosure process while doing a modification. Also, judging by your comments, modifications seem to result in foreclosures later. I thought another section of this article was more important to our issues. Zibel touched on a class action lawsuit in Minnesota filed by homeowners that said HAMP “failed to give proper notice when they were rejected [for modifications] or the right to appeal [the rejections].”(1) The Judge rejected the suit and said, “the federal government has never made loan modifications an entitlement.”(1)
What Judge Montgomery said basically sums up exactly what we are up against in the legal court and the court of public opinion. When I first starting complaining about PHH Mortgage, I was told, “you agreed to pay for your house didn’t you?” I said yes, but, shouldn’t I have some sort of consumer protections if something happens and I cannot pay for my house anymore? The premise for my petition letters came from the above conversation. As you see, we are facing a steep battle from people who think if we signed the loan papers, we should pay and that is it.
Second, Foreclosures dip in October. I didn’t even have to read the article to know exactly what they are talking about, because of HAMP, modifications are being started and foreclosures are being stalled. That is all, foreclosures will rise again, I promise. Anyway…Foreclosures dipped, but filings were “up 19% [from last year]” and “1 in every 385 homes received a [default] notice this month.”(2) Wow, that is great news! Those numbers sure do make me feel better, don’t they make you feel better? Those numbers are crazy. 1 out of 385 is not a good statistic whatsoever. Give me a break.
The top ten foreclosure states in order from top to bottom are…..Nevada, California, Florida, Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, and Utah.(2)
Third, here is the MHA (Making Home Affordable) Mortgage Servicer Report through October 2009. Enjoy. What can I tell you about it? It has 5 pages instead of 2. There are more graphs showing downward trends with home prices and upward trends of housing inventory. Fancy Fancy! Other than that, PHH Mortgage is still not listed on there although it does say that servicers servicing Fannie loans are eligible to participate. Here’s to crossing our fingers that PHH will one day participate.
Last but not least, the best editorial I have read in a while came from the NY Times today. More Foreclosures to Come. Need I say more? The editorial called for real modifications with principal loan reductions. We have heard this before, yes, from the National Consumer Law Center. The editorial goes on to say that, “another 2.4 million homes will be lost [to foreclosure] in 2010 and home prices will be reduced by 10%.”(3) Recall above that I said most modifications will end in foreclosure, well the editorial said that, “most troubled borrowers will ultimately not qualify for help, and bad loans will be in foreclosure.”(3)
The editorial continues, HAMP “has been flawed from the start and has no teeth to compel lenders to participate.”(3)
Finally, “American Homeowners need an antiforeclosure plan that works.”(3)
1. Housing Plan Reaches 1 in 5 Borrowers. Alan Zibel. Associated Press. 11/10/09.
2. Foreclosures Dip in October. J.W. Elphinstone. Associated Press. 11/11/09.
3. More Foreclosures to Come. NY Times Editorial. 11/12/09.