Journalism in the Public Interest


Eye on Loan Modifications

New Data: See the Mortgage Mod Logjam for Each Servicer

The number of homeowners stuck in trial loan modifications continues. Check out our interactive breakdown of the data by servicers.

The logjam of people stuck in trial modifications continues. Data released by the Treasury Department on Wednesday shows that the number of trial mods that have become permanent jumped in January, but the overall number is still just a small percentage of the number of borrowers who've begun the trials.

To illustrate the performance of the servicers in the program, we've created an interactive breakdown of the data by servicer. There, you can see how bad the logjam is at each one.

Why Authorities Haven’t Stopped the Foreclosure ‘Rescue’ Boom

This story is a collaboration with Steve Henn of American Public Media’s Marketplace. It was co-published with Salon.

During the go-go years of the real estate bubble, shady mortgage brokers thrived, thanks to the sluggish response of regulators and law enforcement agencies. Amid the ruins of the crash, there’s a new boom attracting unscrupulous mortgage professionals: "Foreclosure rescue" companies promising — in exchange for a large up-front fee — to persuade lenders to modify desperate homeowners’ mortgages. And authorities are again finding themselves ill-equipped to deal with the deluge.

In a giant game of whack-a-mole, law enforcement agencies at all levels across the country have filed suit against 150 such companies, but they continue to proliferate, and the number of consumer complaints continues to rise.

"This is a very big scam," says California Attorney General Jerry Brown. "They’re all over the place, and as soon as you get one, they migrate to somewhere else."

The case of one particularly aggressive firm, 21st Century Legal Services, shows just how ineffective authorities’ moves against the companies often are.


Have you worked for a servicer in a loan modification call center? We want to hear from you.

Ask questions, share your experiences, and connect with fellow homeowners on ProPublica's new foreclosure Facebook page.

Photo by flickr user sparkieblues


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