Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Government Pushes Loan Mods

by Calculated Risk on 7/28/2009 10:45:00 PM

From the NY Times: Feds Push Mortgage Companies to Modify More Loans

The Obama administration, scrambling to get its main housing initiative on track, extracted a pledge from 25 mortgage company executives to improve their efforts to assist borrowers in danger of foreclosure.

In an all-day series of meetings Tuesday at the Treasury Department, government officials reached a verbal agreement with the executives for a new goal of about 500,000 loan modifications by Nov. 1 and stressed the program's urgency.

The sessions came amid concerns that the Obama administration will fall far short of its original goal of helping up to 3 million to 4 million troubled borrowers with modified loans.

As of this week, only about 200,000 borrowers were enrolled in three-month trial loan modifications ...
A "verbal agreement"?

Counting the number of mods might make for useful PR, but some mods are more effective than others. A capitalization of missed payments and fees, along with a rate reduction and/or extended term, are the most common modifications. But for homeowners with significant negative equity that is just "extend and pretend" and leads to a high redefault rate and just postpones foreclosure.