Sunday, August 22, 2010


The latest figures from the U.S. Treasury show that 16 months in, the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) has yielded just 389,198 permanent loan restructurings – results that even the government’s own special inspector general has assailed as “anemic” and not even close to putting “an appreciable dent in foreclosure filings.”

The administration has already initiated several refinancing programs in hopes of stemming the nation’s foreclosure crisis, but they too have generated tepid outcomes at best. As of the end of March, the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) had allowed 291,600 homeowners to obtain new mortgages with lower rates – a mere drop in the bucket considering the program’s end-goal is 4-5 million refinancings.

And then there’s the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Hope for Homeowners (H4H) effort, which was initiated under the Bush administration. Even after a program revamp in March of last year to increase flexibility for lenders and allow a broader scope of borrowers to qualify, H4H has seen virtually no pick-up in volume. In June, for example, FHA insured just seven new mortgages under its H4H program.