The New York Times has an expansive take down of HAMP in today’s paper. Here is a snapshot from the opening:
An examination of federal documents and lawsuits, and interviews with legislators, state attorneys general, housing counselors, homeowners and regulators, reveal a federal mortgage modification program crippled by weak oversight, conflicts of interest, mind-numbing complexity and poor performance by many participating banks.
¶Congress set aside $50 billion for foreclosure prevention, amid administration projections that three million to four million homeowners would benefit from modifications. So far, the Treasury Department, which oversees the program, has spent slightly more than $1 billion, and just 607,000 homeowners have received permanent loan modifications (of those, 11 percent have defaulted).
¶The companies that service mortgages, typically large banks, continually lose homeowner paperwork and incorrectly tell homeowners that they must be delinquent to qualify.
¶Treasury officials have not fined any servicers, and the government-controlled company hired by the Treasury to oversee the program has expressed reluctance to crack down on banks.
Interviews with a dozen homeowner applicants in four states reveal a familiar pattern: Banks deny many who, by income and credit scores, appear to qualify. And homeowners end up weighed down by legal fees and facing foreclosure.
See the whole piece here.