Approximately 840,000 debt-burdened homeowners who could have been helped by the federal government’s Home Affordable Modification Program will fall through the cracks largely due to a lack of proper staffing and training at some of the financial institutions, according to a recent study. Many of those households will likely end up in foreclosure.
Overall, 1.2 million homeowners have received permanent mortgage modifications under the HAMP program, helping about 800,000 households avoid foreclosure. The report, prepared by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Columbia University and the University of Chicago, revealed that had banks been better prepared, the government’s modification program would have completed 70 percent more permanent modifications.
The study discovered that some lenders were better than others at modifying loans under HAMP. Those lenders that achieved a higher modification rate had a larger and better-trained staffs.
The study results reflect similar issues highlighted by the National Mortgage Settlement, which includes mandates to improve overall staffing, training and compliance with state laws.