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.
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.
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- Making Home Affordable.gov
The administration’s web site for the foreclosure prevention program. Provides an FAQ, homeowner examples, and other tools to see whether you might qualify for the program.
- Foreclosure Avoidance Counselors
A list of HUD-approved housing counseling agencies nationwide.
- FTC Tips for Mortgage Servicing Consumers
Tips for homeowners from the Federal Trade Commission.
- Program Guidelines for Mortgage Servicers
These "supplemental directives" lay out how mortgage servicers are supposed to conduct the program.
- Compensation for Mortgage Servicers
This Treasury Department document lays out how mortgage servicers are compensated for completed modifications
- Calculated Risk
A finance and economics blog that provides news and metrics on the state of the housing market.